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25 years old with rapid arthritis in the foot/ankle, fusion surgery next week

I am the classic story of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. December 17 I decided to meet friends at a bar I would never normally go to. 10 minutes after getting there, I was completely blindsided my two huge men fighting- they trampled me down in a second. I am a 6 foot tall, blonde girl- I really don't know how you miss seeing me, but they obviously had other priorities on their mind then my wellbeing. Went to the emergency room, had an Xray done that they concluded showed no fracture, and sent me on my way with a sprain. Told me I should be walking in two weeks. I prayed so, considering the fact that I was supposed to start 2 months of airline training in only three weeks. Well, I still couldn't walk by the time flight attendant training came around, so I had push it back a month. I went back to the doctor, he said, yep you are just sprained- you don't need an MRI or anything else. In fact- the best thing you can do is start using it, its going to hurt, but it's what you have to do. So I went off to training. I don't know how I made it through two months of training, but I did very painfully. Something was not right. My ankle would be swollen by the end of the every day, and I had self diagnosed my self with plantar fasciitis in my heel area for the intense pain i felt walking. 

I start working in the air hoping and praying that my time in between trips would be enough to finally heal whatever was going on. I even started going to physical therapy, even though they had absolutely no idea what to do with me. Finally my PT encouraged me to go back and see the doctor. I did, and he gave it a physical look, did some feeling and resistance and orders an MRI. What a mess that was. After describing the MRI findings, he adds in cooly at the end, "oh and you've been fractured this entire time. We need to schedule you a CT scan." On top of all the ligament and tendon damage, I was walking around on fractured ankle/foot for five months. He refers me to surgeon and said he is no longer qualified to help me.

I just met with the surgeon yesterday to find out I have severe rapid arthritis in my right ankle joint. It was crazy to see the holes on the CT scan, it actually made me sick to my stomach. I used to be a runner before this, I used to love just going on long walks. I'm 6 foot tall, but I will still wear heals any chance I get. I'm afraid after this fusion surgery I will never be the same. I know if I didnt get the surgery, my condition would just get worse. But possibly the most depressing part of this entire thing is- I will be out of work for 6 months. That's the minimum recovery time my surgeon gave me. It's unbelievable especially because I just started this new amazing job. Any advice would be great from anyone who has had this procedure done. I am only 25, I feel like my body failed me so young. 



  • I'm 27, and I was diagnosed with a severe case of Juvenile Rheumatoid Polyarthritis at the age of 16. ALL of my joints are affected by the arthritis without exception. I don't have any bone fusions, but I definitely know the feeling of your body failing you so young. There was a period in which I couldn't dance, run, or even wash/brush my own hair for YEARS. Medication and physical therapy helped bring me back to living a more normal, healthy life. True, I don't feel young. I complain about symptoms that mostly, only the elderly can really understand. I look at people in their 40's and can't help but think that their bones are healthier than mine. But you know what? I can still do the things I want to do, even if its not to the same degree I used to. Yeah, theres some things I used to enjoy that I no longer can do. Like roller coasters now cause me too much pain for me to enjoy, but I can still do a lot of physical activities. Like housekeeping, walking, running, and dancing. So like... dont rule out the possibility of still beong able to run after healing. It may hurt, you may not feel young, but you'll still be able to do it. Even if not as good as you used to. Ah, and I too did fracture my right foot. I was 13 at the tine, and they told me it was a sprain. It felt like walking on needles, and I knew I heard the crack. So I insisted on telling my Mom the doctor at urgent care was a quack and I wasnt going to walk on it. Lucky we had crutches at home from when my brother did something to his foot! My mom took me to a podiatrist after that, and since feet was his specialty, he found the fracture without issue. Im sorry that you never were taken to see the podiatrist! It is what it is. But I do think that after surgery, following up with one might help answer any and all of your questions. Really all I can do is try to help bring you optimism.

  • OswaldOtteOOswaldOtte Posts: 31
    edited 04/23/2020 - 6:12 AM

    They say cartilage does not grow back, but it does! It does take many years and will never be as strong as before.

    I had some problems with my ankle and the surgeon had to shave away cartilage. He said I would be back racing mountainbike in 3 months. He messed up, and shaved too much cartilage away. It felt like bone on bone. The pain was horrible. Surgeon suggested a fusion afterwards. Which I did not accept to do...

    It took 6 months to be able to walk again without crutches. And even that was more of a limp. And misplacing a foot, or stepping on something like a pinecone would trigger a sharp pain.

    It took 6 years before I could get back on a bicycle. And this was for 20 minutes easy pedaling at most.

    Fast forward another 5 years and I was doing mountainbike rides and long hikes again. Nowhere near the level of mtb riding I did a decade earlier, but enough to enjoy biking again. I still feel a little ache from time to time in my ankle, that's when I know it's time to back off a little with training. But had I gotten the fusion, I would have missed years of sports and exercises.

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,718


    You replied to 2 post that are 2 years old and the members are no longer with us. Before you make a reply to someone, please check the date under their username.

    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

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