Friday, June 21, 2013

Ankle Surgery Decision

Back in April I had my MRI and discussion with my Dr about my ankle pain.  You can read about that here. I managed to do my big races at the Flying Pig in the beginning of May with not much pain.  Granted, compression socks and Advil were a pivotal role in my success. My PTs were very surprised that I was able to finish all three races and were expecting a mess when I came in on the Monday after.  My ankle was sore and crunchy but I could walk w/o pain. 

My newest PT, I'll call her Michelle, who comes from a sports clinic, gave me the talk.  "You need to stop running for 2 weeks and completely rest it.  It's not about running now, it's about running in the future."  Yep.  She's right.  Grrr.  So, I was good.  I rested for long 10 days.  Meanwhile, Michelle looked at my new running shoes that showed up in and deemed them unfit for my foot.  I have always wore a Neutral shoe (Mizuno Wave Riders) but she showed me why I needed to be in a shoe for Supination.  I had 2 weeks to try out another pair of shoes and return the old (new) shoes.  I was getting close to 2 weeks but I hadn't got to run in them yet.  That was part of my reasoning for starting to run again but also, my ankle felt the same even with rest.   If I try to dorsaflex, stretch my calf, lounge, walk up hills, walk down stairs it still hurts.  (Michelle gave me her blessing to go ahead and run again)

Michelle asked me when I was going back to the Dr. for a follow up- I told her I wasn't.  My Dr. told me to come back when the spur was killing me and we could do a "scope" to clean it up and shave off the bone spur.    Michelle looked at me, nodded her head and said "Just do it, it's stopping you from doing what you want."  She explained to me the general recovery for it and said I'd be walking within a day or 2.   Ok, doesn't sound THAT bad.  
I'm not a radiologist, but I think that's a spur hanging down from my tibia (left hand side, in the middle of the red triangle)

So, here I am, waiting to have arthroscopic surgery on my ankle spur(s?) next Friday.  My Dr. told me that he might have to open me up a little bit more than just the portals for the arthroscope to get at the spur- just depends when he gets in there.  Recovery would be 5 weeks in the BOOT and nothing about being non-weight bearing so that's good, although I did clarify with the nurse and she told me to bring my crutches and boot to the hospital, so...fingers crossed that will only be for a little bit. 

 I do have my doubts.  I can run with little pain.  BUT, I'm in pain later.  Today, I went for a run and as usual I was hyper-focused on my ankle.  It didn't hurt to bad, just on hills (up and down) and I thought "Why am I having surgery on this? I can function, with some pain, but it's not horrible."  BUT, if I didn't do anything about it, I'd stay in this stupid, frustrating situation.  Run, then pain, repeat. 
I want to compete. I don't want to have to run every other day and only 3 miles. I don't want to be the person who can't run because it hurts her ankle too much.  I refuse to stop.  So, I guess that's it.  I have to get this taken care of.

My PT added some anxiety since she asked me if he was going to be doing a micro fracture on the ankle and asked if Dr brought up OCD (Osteochrondral defect).  He didn't, thank goodness, since Dr. Google brought up some scary stuff.    My real Dr. did not mention this, and when I look at my patient summary for the surgery it mentions "General or localized osteoarthrosis" which means I'm old that I have arthritis. If you google "localized arthritis" it is this OCD stuff. I looked at my MRI and at MRIs online of an OCD of the ankle and I think I'm good- but then again, I'm not a radiologist.  (Although it is fascinating, maybe a second career option...) 

my lovely ankle MRI of my talus
someone else's MRI with OCD in the talus
  Since, if I timed it right, 5 weeks in a boot gets me to Aug 2 (perfect for me-done with it before going back to work mid August), and gives me 6 weeks to train for the Air Force Half which stupidly I signed up for back on Jan 1.  I'm hoping this is an easy recovery. 

Has anyone had arthroscopic surgery on their ankle before?  I'd love read about your experiences.


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  2. I'm scheduling my ankle arthroscopy at the end of the week for the surgery in June. I have torn ligaments, bone spur, arthritis and a piece of floating bone. Like you I'm a distance runner (but not fast). I'm nervous on being back to my sport like before. Appreciate your blog that I came across after googling. Any advice/suggestions on before and after surgery is welcomed.

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