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Jade
26-01-2008, 10:22 AM
Hello,

Just wondering how people go building up their calf after an ankle fusion?

My b/f no longer has any ankle movement (or very minimal) and his calf has withered away to pretty much nothing!

He's finding it difficult building up the muscle..... :confused:

Any advice / exercices to try out would be great :)

Thanks,
Jade

greeneyeses
29-01-2008, 05:06 AM
I was curious about that too. I just had a much less major surgery than a fusion, but my calf muscle has lost a ridiculous amount of mass already! I figure just starting to walk again will rebuild it. Maybe ask a physical therapist or doctor?

KiraB
29-01-2008, 01:01 PM
If there is movement in the joint and you can engage the muscle then you should be able to increase the size of it again relatively quickly. With a fusion where there is very little movement I would have thought the calf would naturally atrophy as you can't use the muscle. I would go and see a physiotherapist recommended by your surgeon, so that you know they deal with fusion on a regular basis.

Mischap123
30-01-2008, 09:40 PM
The calf is a plantarflexor(toe pointing movement) of the ankle joint. Your b/f no longer has an ankle joint so the calf can only be of minimal use as a light knee flexor. And as KiraB explains, atrophy prevails. Like the old saying goes, "if you don't (or can't) use it, you lose it".

Jade
18-02-2008, 03:30 PM
Hi there - I spoke to my friend who has been a personal trainer for some time and he said the best exercise is to ride a bike. You don't need to move your ankle and it can help strengthen and build the calf muscles.
Just thought I'd let you know so hopefully some other ankle fusion people can start peddling too :)

emem
24-02-2008, 02:00 PM
Thanks for this Jade. I had an ankle fusion at the end of Nov and actually went back to the gym at 8 weeks, when I was weight bearing, and used the bike and did upper body weights, as OK'd by by surgeon. I had my cast off 4 days ago, and the calf is not looking too bad. The ankle is swollen and sore still, and at the moment the only 'rehab' I am doing is walking in water for 20-30 mins a day, as advised by my surgeon, altho I plan/hope to go back to the bike later this week. I am walking with a limp at the moment, but I'm only 4 days out of the cast, so I am expecting this will improve. It already has, somewhat, but the whole thing is a long process, and I guess lots of patience and positive thinking is needed.

Jade
12-03-2008, 11:37 AM
Hi Emem :)

Yes my partner has also been walking in water. Its really helped move things along! He rides his bike for about half an hour then does the water walking.

The docs had hoped that he wouldn't need an ankle fusion - they removed his talus due to infection and hoped he would have enough scar tissue to create stability but alas no joy!

His ankle fusion will be the last effort to save his foot so fingers crossed - how has your pain etc been since you have been weight bearing?

emem
13-03-2008, 03:49 PM
I haven't got too much pain. I'm 3 weeks out of the cast, and walking without a crutch, in fact I'm just about to walk the dog. I would not plan to walk outside for more than 15 mins, and I find downhill slopes a bit of a problem, but I did before the operation, too, but then my ankle screamed, the pain is much less now, just a general discomfort, and the odd sensation of no downward flex -- I have both fib and tib screwed to the talus and bone grafts. I am not getting up any great walking speed, but every day is better than the day before. My calf is looking not too bad. I wear MBT shoes (pricey, but worth it, for me) they have a thick roller sole that makes walking easier, but I also get about barefoot. On the whole I am happy that I have had the fusion, as I had bone on bone and found walking quite painful after only a few minutes. Walking in water is wonderful. Best of luck to your partner.

bryanjets1
23-03-2008, 04:33 AM
Hey...my name is Bryan and I broke my ankle. I broke my tibia and the doctor told me not to put any pressure on it yet so my bone doesn't shift out of place. I am 15 and I play basketball, and was in the process of trying to improve my jumping. Is there any calf workouts I can do with out putting pressure on my tibia.

Cat17
13-10-2011, 02:16 AM
I had my fusion done in 05 and for myself found that making sure to take the time to allow for the bones and bone grafts to fuse properly was the hardest thing (but this is very necessary to ensure complete fusion). Now 7 years later there is very few things that I feel that I can not do. Ensuring that my other joints do not have to endure to much wear and tear is a concern so therefore recommend changing up any exercise routine that you might start doing or continue later on. For example - instead of doing extra walking or running outside or on treadmill, change up to a elliptical or bike. Found I could still play basketball but only with MBT rocker shoes, the continually stopping a going is a bit hard on the knees now. No problem with volleyball, hiking or most work-outs at the gym. I work in the medical field and am on my feet 12 hours at work, therefore I also make sure to switch up my running shoes every other day or at least every 2nd day. This helps, as the inner sole tends to flatten out. Going down hills always feels uncomfortable but so would trying to walk in a high heel shoe. The knee takes the replacement of ankle and then is extended forward. I also found much the same feeling at first when I snorkeled, as I felt the need for my foot to be straighter to do this. It worked just fine, and soon I never thought about it again. So all in all, take the time to heal up, start slow and then go and enjoy what ever you did before. And remember, if there is pain, STOP or at least slow down. You do not want to be heading back in for more surgery on your ankle(s) or other joints.
PS... I have not given snow skiing a try as of yet, but am hoping to head back to the Rockies for a go round in a few months.

Shatta
06-02-2014, 07:22 PM
Thanks for this Jade. I had an ankle fusion at the end of Nov and actually went back to the gym at 8 weeks, when I was weight bearing, and used the bike and did upper body weights, as OK'd by by surgeon. I had my cast off 4 days ago, and the calf is not looking too bad. The ankle is swollen and sore still, and at the moment the only 'rehab' I am doing is walking in water for 20-30 mins a day, as advised by my surgeon, altho I plan/hope to go back to the bike later this week. I am walking with a limp at the moment, but I'm only 4 days out of the cast, so I am expecting this will improve. It already has, somewhat, but the whole thing is a long process, and I guess lots of patience and positive thinking is needed.

I am intending to do an operation on my Ankle. Either replacement of the ankle joint or fusion. I am told that replacement is still not 100% successful. Can some one advise me whether I replace or fuse it. Am I going to limb if I make the fusion. I need your advise.
Thanks
Shatta