Author Topic: Got a fused ankle?  (Read 413 times)

Online Greybeard

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Got a fused ankle?
« on: 02.05. 2019 14:05 »
I have several arthritic joints but the worst is my left ankle. I have been wondering what the effect on motorcycling would be if I had the joint fused. Do you or anybody you know ride a British bike with a fused left ankle? Would braking mean taking my foot off the footrest to heel the pedal, or is there enough flexibility to rotate the leg to press the pedal?

Online Black Sheep

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #1 on: 02.05. 2019 14:38 »
One of my sons had his left ankle fused some time ago. He rides enduros but also rids one of my Brit bikes from time to time. I shall have to ask him (again) what he does and how it affects him. Usual answer - "It's ok". 
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #2 on: 02.05. 2019 15:49 »
One of my sons had his left ankle fused some time ago. He rides enduros but also rids one of my Brit bikes from time to time...

Sounds quite hopeful that I may be able to carry on riding then.  *smile*

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #3 on: 02.05. 2019 16:09 »
Some of the DTRA boys run with both brake and gear pedals set up on the right. Might be another option.

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Offline RDfella

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #4 on: 02.05. 2019 17:42 »
What do you want brakes for? An optional extra on our bikes and only slow you down anyway. Well, on bikes with brakes, that is - usually foreign.
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Online RichardL

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #5 on: 03.05. 2019 14:51 »
Why are you opting for fusing rather than replacement? I hope it's not because Brit health care won't give you the option. I really don't know how much better one is than the other.

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Online olev

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #6 on: 04.05. 2019 01:32 »
Do they do replacement ankles now?
One of mine is totally stuffed.
I checked out the alternatives a few years ago.
They said fusing might or might not improve it.
The only alternative was amputation.
If you read up about this it can be very successful and not as grim as it sounds.
I didn't like the idea of strapping on a foot for a p!ss in the middle of the night though.
I'd be interested in a replacement though.
cheers

Online bsa-bill

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #7 on: 04.05. 2019 09:46 »
available on NHS (not sure if all trusts do them) but being allowed to go downhill a bit is the old health service (plenty of money for imaginary ferries and making ourselves a laughing stock tho) *doh*
I'll shut up for the sake of harmony  *whistle*
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Offline RDfella

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #8 on: 04.05. 2019 13:28 »
Most of us couldn’t afford decent bikes when we were young – and are now we can we are getting too old to ride them. Have the same problem with my boat. As each year passes I ask myself how much longer I’ll be able to go on using that or my bikes.
Was racing up to 60, but now in my 70’s things are not so easy. Full of aches and pains and a lot less flexibility. I don’t have fused joints, but my lower spine is seized up, limiting leg movement etc. Riding British bikes is fine, but soon I’ll have to give up with the Honda. Rear of the seat is belly-button height, and most days I can’t lift my leg that high. Trying to slide foot and leg over the lower part of the seat as if it were a type of walk-thru is inviting the bike falling over and trapping me. Up to ten years ago I could lift that bike off its side. Not any more. Pity, as it has a lovely, smooth vee twin engine. Brakes are outstanding too, but general riding not so much fun. Seating position is uncomfortable and I’ve never been able to get the hang of bikes with a high C of G and equally high riding position. Don’t feel like I’m part of the bike as I do with British stuff.
As for the original question – replacement hips are considered a minor op these days. Replacement knees and shoulders are often done, so why not ankles? Maybe they are, but not on the 3rd world health ‘service’. Germany seems to be the place these days for cancer treatments that actually work, so maybe they are more advanced in joint repair / replacement as well. European doctors have a completely different approach to healthcare compared with the UK and USA.

Just found this: Ankle replacement surgery is now available, and although numbers are small in comparison to hip and knee replacement, they are rising slowly. Of the 30,000 cases of ankle osteoarthritis seen by hospital specialists every year in the UK, only about 1,200 of them will undergo ankle replacement surgery.
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Online Greybeard

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #9 on: 06.05. 2019 23:00 »
Why are you opting for fusing rather than replacement? I hope it's not because Brit health care won't give you the option. I really don't know how much better one is than the other.

Richard L.
Well, I thought that our National Health Service did not do ankles, but RDfella says they may be available to some patients. The ankle is more complicated than knees and hips so the replacement joint would be expensive. The NHS have to prioritise. I am still able to walk/hobble without a stick, as long as I have pain killers so I have to admit I am not as badly off as some others.

Offline berger

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #10 on: 07.05. 2019 00:53 »
I went to the pub- what a snotty mess I made of myself AGAIN *beer* *countdown*- words needed with self!!!!!!   old friend of mine- [now no longer with us] smashed his ankle really bad when he slipped.it gave him so much pain for years he went to a consultant who said the only cure was to make it solid with no movement. he pondered this for a couple of years thinking how he could ride and use the back brake , he concluded it would need alterations on the bike but sadly left the biking world behind *sad*

Online Greybeard

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #11 on: 07.05. 2019 10:32 »
...consultant who said the only cure was to make it solid with no movement. he pondered this for a couple of years thinking how he could ride and use the back brake , he concluded it would need alterations on the bike but sadly left the biking world behind *sad*
Well, I might consider ending it all, but only as a last resort! I'm not going to hack my motorbike.

Offline RDfella

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #12 on: 08.05. 2019 11:01 »
GB, been thinking further about your problem.
First of all, I had a couple of toes fused a few years ago. Meant having pins stuck out of the front of the toes for a couple of months and having to make myself some sort of boot (hospitals supply them now) so I could walk outside the house. No weight to be put on toes for the first couple of months and had to be careful for another couple. Fusing is not always successful, so had one done again last year. This time they put a screw in (permanent) and whilst still needing a boot and being careful it wasn’t half as much bother.
Just how one would manage not putting weight on an ankle for months I don’t know. Seems to me the operation would be relatively involved, perhaps half of a replacement jobby - not counting the cost of a new joint. It’s well known civil servants have no clue about buying / selling and will pay whatever the seller asks. Why not – doesn’t come out of their pocket plus they’re accountable to no-one, hence the silly cost of replacement joints etc.
But you can’t just leave it. Painkillers only work so far, and constant pain wears you down and causes depression. You need to get something done.

The good news – you needn’t wreck your bike modifying it. Just remove the rear brake pedal and fit a longer cable leading to the left handlebar. On sandracers we never had a rear brake pedal – not even a left footrest. Just a bolt stuck out somewhere that we could rest our left foot on if the track had long straights. The rear brake was a second lever on the left handlebar, looking like two clutch levers, one below the other (clutch on top). In your case that way nothing is mangled or irreversible.
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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #13 on: 08.05. 2019 11:37 »
G'day GB.
I agree with RD. A fairly simple modification to do.
I reversed all the hand controls left for right for a mate with a frozen right wrist.
It was s similar mod (clutch lever for front brake lever) that killed Robert Dunlop. Motor seized so he grabbed the clutch but it was now the front brake. :(
Cheers
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Online bsa-bill

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Re: Got a fused ankle?
« Reply #14 on: 08.05. 2019 13:53 »
Thing is if your walking funny to save the ankle your putting the rest of your leg joints under pressure not allowed for in the original design
All the best - Bill
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