Osteoarthritis of the Ankle - looking for pain relief options and suggestions

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Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/24/2017 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I broke my ankle 1.5 years ago and since have developed osteoarthritis. I am only taking advil or aleve and tylenol for pain. My job is somewhat physical and some days I walk a lot - not as much as I used to, but maybe 5 miles. I have noticed that the pain is slowly increasing every time I have a long day with a lot of walking. It gets to the point where by the end of the day or the next day I can hardly walk at all - or literally can't walk, and the over the counter meds barely work or don't work at all. I have tried cortisone injections - which kind of work for a while, I have tried cbd balms, with and without thc (it is legal in my state btw) as well as various over the counter meds like biofreeze - and I use a tens device from time to time. I have also gone back to physical therapy to see if that will help. My question is - what do I do next to get rid of the pain. I am 46 and have only been having to deal with this for a short time. It seems that I should not be in this much pain yet. I keep thinking it will get better and heal, but it is not, It only seems to gets worse. My Doctor suggested fusing the ankle or doing a replacement (even though I am not really old enough for one). I really don't want to deal with the recovery time involved with a fusion (not to mention the actual fusion) and the replacement seems extreme. I am trying to avoid taking any of the drugs that alter your state of mind - because I own my own business and have to be able to think, work, and function every day. I find it is very hard to think on percocet or norco, and they make me way too sleepy. I am sure that there are alternatives out there that I am not aware of. The ankle works fine, it is just so painful when I walk now - I just need to get rid of the pain - I have always been very active and this is really messing up my life. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16779
   Posted 9/26/2017 9:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I happened to see your post & wanted to say hello & welcome to Healing Well. Unfortunately, when bones get broken it predisposes us to arthritis. The thing with arthritis is you do have to keep movement in the joint. The old saying move it, or lose it, has real meaning with arthritis.

You don't mention swelling, if you have that too, elevate it at night. Try moist heat & ice. Some people cannot tolerate cold, I can't but my body responds well to moist heat. Moist heat goes deeper than dry heat. I understand you not wanting meds that mess with your ability to function. There is a medication by script only called Voltaren, available in gel or pill form. If you have not tried it, ask for a script & give it a try. It is for arthritis.I use it when my normal things do not give me much relief.

I would highly recommend aqua therapy for your ankle over regular physical therapy. If this is not possible, check out a YMCA or gym that has a heated pool & jacuzzi. Something else to consider is getting some compression socks. Since you are on your feet so much it sure can't hurt you.

I would stay away from an ankle fusion or replacement because of your work. A friend of mine was in a very bad car accident & had to have a ankle fusion done. He literally had no choice, he had a severe crush injury to his foot. To this day he regrets ever having it done. He lost so much mobility with his foot. We do have a lady that posted recently about a product to use for pain, OTC. I will look for her post & get the name & come back here & post it.

Take care.
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 10/17/2017 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I've got the pain too, after second surgery which only made things worse. My doctor and I are agreed fusion would only make things even worse(er).

I'm 2 years into this darn ankle thing and the only help I have had is my pain clinic doctor. I do take the opioids. Just start out with the smallest dose and the least of the drugs. Tramadol makes me happy, although it doesn't do a whole lot for pain. People who know me well, on finding me grumpy, ask me if I need my pill; and they're usually right.

The ankle is even worse than my broken neck pain, which causes leg and foot pain like diabetic neuropathy, constant burning and feeling cold and a whole lot more. Ankle is about as bad as pain gets because it can give you a big jab that can make you fall down.

Keep moving. Try a hot soak. I have a tiny hot tub for one or two people. Physical therapy helps some people. Worth a try. Acupuncture is worthless. Find something to take your mind off it. Grandkids are great.

Best wishes.
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