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Has anyone had foot surgery that will require a fusion?

  1. I have been watching this question hoping someone would post about their surgery. I am scheduled to have one in less that two weeks. I am somewhat worried because I have been told that I have to be off my RA meds for 8 weeks. Two weeks before to help prevent infections, and the entire 6 weeks after so that the bones grow together properly. And only tylenol (after opiods for the first week for surgical pain) for any RA pain.. Not even anti-inflammatory medication. Since while healing "inflammation is our friend" ? Please if there is someone out there who has lived through this...Tell me it can be done!

    1. Hi Merry. It is completely understandable that you have concerns about going off of medications for the upcoming surgery. Glad to see you are seeking information. While it was for a different type of surgery, several years ago my wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), had to have one of her artificial knees replaced due to an infection. She first had to have the old knee removed and replaced with a cement spacer infused with antibiotics. Yes, she had to live without a knee for eight weeks. Finally, they did a second surgery to put in the new knee. Following was an extensive period of rehab and recovery. Here are articles she wrote about the experience:

      The short take is that, yes, it can be done. Surgery, of course, is never easy and decisions are truly personal. Hopefully, some people with experiences with the foot surgery will chime in with their experiences. Wishing you the best and please keep us posted on how you are doing. Richard ( Team)

      1. This response is a little late, but I had triple fusion of the bones in the hindfoot to help alleviate arthritis pain and correct the flatfoot deformity. Well, the surgery was a success. I do not really remember too much pain from going off my RA medications (MTX and Cimzia). I responded well to tylenol. The weeks of non-weight bearing were easy with a knee scooter. The weeks of partial weight-bearing were more difficult, (especially maneuvering around with the crutches) and painful. Now, 6 months later I am still in a lot of pain. Most of the pain is in my ankle. My rheumatologist just waves it off saying "Oh, that's from the surgery", and my surgeon says that it's perfectly normal progression for someone with RA to heal slowly. He says everything looks good and that it could take up to a year to completely heal and for the swelling to go away. Some of my pain is also the osteoarthritis I have in my ankle and all my other foot joints, including the other foot without the surgery. Some of the pain is also from my RA being only partially controlled. I also completed 9 weeks of physical therapy. Anyway, I was hoping to be walking quite normally and not in pain by 6-months time. However, I still use a cane and sometimes an ankle brace and good supportive shoes (no shoes are comfortable). Walking, stretching and calf raises are my exercise goals, all of which are painful. I have high hopes that I will continue to recover and get stronger.

        1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Irene!!

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