Ankle replacement or ankle fusion ?

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This spring, pre surgery.

By Lorraine Dusky

An x-ray confirmed what I knew: I needed surgery. I found my way to Dr. John Yu in Riverhead, N.Y. Earlier in the summer I had a cortisone shot in my ankle, but if it alleviated the pain and made walking easier, I barely noticed. When friends from out of town visited, I did not go sight-seeing in Manhattan with them. That would have been too much walking for me, even with a cane–and I’d used one the time before I was in the city. Getting another cortisone shot seemed pointless. I had been taking various over-the-counter meds for years. I had moved on from plain old glucosamine and chondrotin to Schiff Move Free Ultra, with the mysterious ingredients of “cartilage blend” (potassium chloride and cartilage), boron  and hyaluronic acid. But while it may have alleviated my discomfort a long time ago–that was then, this is now.  Continue reading

Dairy of an Ankle Replacement: Deciding to go ahead

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Lorraine: On the road to recovery at the farmer’s market in Sag

Ankle replacements–unlike knee replacements–are still rare, but I am one of the vanguard, and got a new, metal and plastic thingamajib implanted in my right ankle two months ago. So far so good. But how did I get here, two months later? Here is my diary of the journey. I will be posting my progress in a series of posts over the next few weeks.

Summer, 2014:  My ankle has been giving me a hellava time for years. I sprained it badly about a decade ago–just a little bump in the kitchen, tripping over a step I knew was there. It didn’t feel so terrible immediately, but an hour later, my ankle was screaming in pain. A trip to the doctor confirmed a bad sprain and I did RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Big deal. My ankle was screwed, and I instinctively knew it.

I have loose joints which makes me ace with yoga but sometimes my ankle just collapses when I am walking and I stumble. Years ago I probably should have done exercises to strengthen my ankle muscles to hold the ankle itself in place. But I did not. Continue reading