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Riding after ankle fusion?

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Hi

Long story, but to cut it short. Broken right tib/fib in November 2009. Had external fixation followed a week later by internal fixation. Got an infection, all metal on medial side removed on 8th March 2010. Unable to remove it all due to incomplete healing. Infection flared up again. All metal out, less one screw on the 23rd December 2010. Chronic osteomyelitis was debrided. Six months on I had really bad pain in ankle while walking. Very stiff. Ankle fusion was the only option besides amputation, which is not an option for me.

Ankle fusion was done on the 23rd September 2011. 3 months on, I have been weight bearing for 6 weeks in a cast. As of today walking without cast.

My question is, is it going to be OK to ride with the metal in my ankle. Can't seem to find many people who race motocross who have had an ankle fusion. X-rays are attached in chronological order

Thanks

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Chris

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Not a doctor but I am going to go with no. and that one legged pro motocrosser in the extremity games chose to amputate his leg cause he could no longer stand the pain from him shattering some things in there

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It's not pain that I'm worried about, it's the danger of doing more damage to it with the metal in.

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I am definitely no expert but you may want to research Trey Canards injury. He injured his femur which is different but it's similar. Good luck.

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I broke my ankle back in '82, not nearly that badly, none of your complications. I ride now, but not lately since I fell and broke 9 ribs. If I were you, I would NOT race, only ride recreationly. Even then, you could fall and mess something up. What concerns me is your complications with infection. You need to follow your doctors advice in dealing with the infections.... and that's a major since its in the bone. I never had to deal with that, got no experience with it. Good luck man.

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I can't understand why a person with an ankle fusion can't ride and race. I have had dozens of patients go back to riding after ankle fusions.

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My main concern is the metal ware in there, my surgeon doesn't want to take it out. It has already been two years since the injury and I am itching to ride. As long as it's not going to cause any problems I'm happy. Thanks

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i say go for it, but take it easy. i broke my right tib/fib almost identical to yours!! the break was at the exact same height, but mine was a little worse. more splintering, and the bones came WAY out of the skin. i had a great orthopedic for the first surgery, and everything was going well, untill i tripped on my crutches, and broke the main plate, and pulled 2 screws. then it all went to shit. because of my crappy ins. at the time i ended up at a half-wit orthopedic after that. long story short: my right leg is now 2 inches shorter than my left, and i have severe disfigurement. i deal with a rediculous amount of pain on a daily basis, and my range of motion gets worse and worse every day. (and is almost nill, i can move my toes up and down about 3/4 inch). my point is, i still ride. its been a casual affair for quite a long time, but im getting more serious about riding like i used to. im no orthopedic, but i would imagine your leg is stronger with the hardware in there, than it would be without. sort of like concrete with, or without re-bar. i would post a pic of my leg to show you that your not that bad off, but it would gross most of these guys out LOL. get out there and ride!

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