Ankle mbbs headed for TAR


new member
Jun 24, 2020
United Kingdom United Kingdom
hello all .

i finally gave in, i can't walk more than 100 yards before winching with pain and have to stop. so TAR for me.
i am booked for 30th January 2023. the surgeon has agreed with me for minimum bone distruction and opted for stryker infinity. i will have a running blog with the journey. so watch this space. anyone out there who had experiance of infinity.
@mbbs I've moved your post to a thread of your own so that we can follow your progress. Which ankle is having the op?
Hi @mbbs - good to hear you've made a decision and got a date for TAR. Can I ask if you're going privately? NHS waiting list here in Scotland is over 12 months and getting longer!
Meantime, enjoy the holidays.
hi guys and gals,

its a private clinic. NHS was greater than 6 months and the pain is getting worse . i just think of it all the time . it dominates every decision now.
@mbbs Good luck with your TAR. I'm pretty confident it will work much better than the pain you're feeling now. I'm almost to the 6 month mark after my TAR. For me, the journey has been difficult at times and has required a boat load of patience and PT (and for me, wound care), but it gets better and better as time goes on. It's much better now than prior to surgery.
Sorry you are dealing with so much pain, @mbbs. And glad to read that you have the surgery scheduled.

I've created a partial signature for your thread, but please let us know whether it's the left or right ankle that is being replaced.

If you'd like to read the stories of others who have been through this surgery, you can type TAR into the Search button on the far right of the blue tool bar above. Here are a few to get you started:

its a private clinic. NHS was greater than 6 months and the pain is getting worse . i just think of it all the time . it dominates every decision now.

I'm in Surrey & have been struggling with nearly 18 months of left ankle issues & a reluctant NHS hospital. To me it was the pain at night that was getting suddenly worse & the fact that my walking was getting slower as I had little ankle flexibility without creating pain. I went for a second opinion with someone who I knew was an expert (been here before) & I found I had to get on with it smartish to prevent further deterioration. I was lucky that a fusion should sort out the issue as it has not yet got to your stage. That's going to be an expensive repair but very worthwhile as this sort of disability is really disabling.
Have you been advised to do any physio or home preparations to get the most support & recovery after the surgery? I went to a physio in advance of my surgery a few times and we worked on my balance & core so I could get along better afterwards. It's something they always do for knee replacement surgery in our area, so I just automatically sought advice. It's paid dividends & given me confidence, however you also need to be able to nest for a few weeks. There's usually a big list of things to do to make life easier later, hope you have time to get that in order.

Wishing you luck with your surgery, it will pay off massively - just imagine what you will be able to do this time next year!
hello Annie
i have not yet being given any advise for any pre op preparation. i did not even such an advise was there, thank you for that. i will email my surgeon to see if there is anything to do. i am going to meet up a PT at gym to see if we can build up leg strength because with six weeks of plaster and further six of non activity will wither the leg muscles. i am not looking forward to non activity.
Personally I would find a foot & ankle specialist physio, the will know what's coming & offer the best advice. There's lots you can do. You need a water proof cast cover & shower stool at the minimum. Practice using crutches & managing the stairs will pay off as well or you need may need to be downstairs.
You will be expected to have your foot elevated a lot, do you have a recliner or footstool (plus pillows)? I used an I walk free 3 and took it to the hospital with me to practice with the physios. You can buy from eBay but it needs lots of practice, have a look at their videos
The more you prepare the easier the weeks go by. Best of luck
Hi mbbs. I didn’t have a TAR, but I had an accident (missed a step and obliterated my ankle) and an ORIF surgery as a result. When I was preparing for another voluntary surgery (hip replacements), the surgery center recommended drinking low-carb protein shakes 2x/day in the six weeks leading up to surgery. I also worked to strengthen the hip muscles and all surrounding muscles. And finally, the surgery center had me start a regiment of Tylenol before surgery to help with the pain.

The things I have found helpful while I can’t bear weight on my ankle:

- Rented a hospital bed that allows me to adjust the head and foot inclines
- Wedge to put my feet on
- Gel ice packs—I have five. Two I wrap around my cast, and one I tie behind my bare knee. It feels so good when that cold starts seeping through the splint. I keep two extras chilling in the freezer at all times
- I have a walker and I rented a wheelchair—I mostly use the wheelchair right now. The surgery center is going to give me a knee scooter at my next appointment
- Disposable washcloths or something with soap on it that doesn’t have to be rinsed off. I didn’t have good luck with a cast cover and shower chair, so I take sink baths or clean up with these wipes
- Toilet seat riser with handles to help you get up and down using just the good leg
- Bottled water. I can’t transport cups or glasses using my wheelchair, so I put a bottle of water between my knees
- I have a little TV tray I eat on because I bang my knees on the dining room table in my wheelchair, but I already had this and probably wouldn’t have purchased it specifically for this. It is nice to have though. I can also set my books and gadgets on it for the brief periods while I am not lying flat on my back, legs elevated
- Grabber. I had this leftover from my hip surgeries, but it’s nice for helping you to pull up your pants/trousers when you’re really sore, reaching things out of reach in your wheelchair, etc.

Best of luck to you! I won’t lie, this is one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced. But my surgery resulted from an accident and yours is to improve your wellbeing, so I hope that makes it a little easier for you. When I was healing from THRs, one of the BoneSmart staff gave me the “this is temporary” mantra. That saw me through a lot—knowing it’s a necessary part of healing and ONLY TEMPORARY! There will come a day when the pain and challenges are behind you.
Good nutrition -- especially extra protein -- is very important to recovery, @mbbs

We have a great article about pre-surgical and recovery nutrition here:

I think will also find this article, which lists things you may need for recovery, helpful:
hello all. so it happened. 6 feb 2024. at princess Margret hospital in Windsor. TAR . it started well, i was dreading the moment the nerve block wearing off. but surprisingly i could control the pain with 1000mg paracetamol every 4 hours and then ibuprofen other 4 hours so i was taking medication every four hours. after the third day ran into stomach cramps and diarrhea. so halved the dosage and i was fine and the pain too. i was in hospital for a day. discharged a day later. Got a Zimmer frame and its a small house so can get around ok. its very challenging on one foot but using chairs and coffee tables for resting the knee while standing. after two weeks had the wound assessed and luckily it had healed well with no swelling. now given a fiberglass plaster for another two to three weeks after which will be given moon boot. i have discovered a lot of things that will help any future patients . i will post a list of things to get ready before the op for convenients during recovery.
Hi @mbbs. Welcome to the healing side!

I notice that your signature says your TAR was January 30, but your latest post says February 6. Was you surgery delayed a week? Should I change the date in your signature?

Glad to read that you are coming along well and we look forward to updates.

Meanwhile, you might find some of the following recovery information helpful: Just keep in mind we are all different, as are the approaches to this recovery and rehab. The key is, “Find what works for you.“ Your doctors, PTs and BoneSmart are available to help, but you are the final judge as to the recovery approach you choose.


Don’t worry:
Your body will heal all by itself. Relax, let it, don't try and hurry it, don’t worry about any symptoms now, they are almost certainly temporary.

Control discomfort:
take your pain meds by prescription schedule (not when pain starts!)

Do what you want to do BUT
a. If it hurts, don't do it and don't allow anyone - especially a physical therapist - to do it to you
b. If your leg swells more or gets stiffer in the 24 hours after doing it, don't do it again.

The recovery articles
Pain management and the pain chart
Healing: how long does it take?
Pain and swelling control: elevation is the key
Post op blues is a reality - be prepared for it
Myth busting: on getting addicted to pain meds
Sleep deprivation is pretty much inevitable - but what causes it?

Good nutrition is very important during recovery.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.
I'm sure you are glad that you are on the other side and on the way to getting your life back, its a big step - congratulations.
You don't have to be on one foot, I wasn't and I was 10 weeks non weight bearing. If you fancy trying out or borrowing my knee crutch I'm no longer using it [yipee!], it was a life saver. Since you had your surgery in Windsor then you will be local to me, I can bring it round if you fancy trying it out. Otherwise it will be sold as my husband is listing it on ebay soon.
@mbbs I can also recommend a Stride On knee scooter. It’s specially designed for small spaces and was so much easier than hopping with a zimmer. I could even manoeuvre it into our small shower room and round the toilet! I hired it from Stride On and they delivered it the next day. It was a game changer for me.

Welcome to the other side! It’s onwards and upwards now to recovery.
Congratulations on getting that behind you! I wish you speedy healing!

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