My surgeon assured me the hardware itself is fine, and I could see it in the x-rays. It is simply the plastic that has shifted or worn down a little. He said the wear and tear seems to be happening sooner than he expected but he knows that I am an active person. I still enjoy hiking, walking in my neighborhood, using my elliptical, volunteering at the cat shelter, swimming, and cycling. I have a mini-trampoline that I had been using to "jog" in my den, but my surgeon suggested I stop using it because it may be putting too much stress on my ankle.
I have a follow-up appointment in six months so my surgeon can gauge what is happening with the plastic and then we will go from there. He said it is possible that we may have to change the plastic and the surgery and recovery are not as difficult as the initial surgery, but of course I will need physical therapy again. He advised me to go about my daily life as usual; not to treat my ankle any differently (except for keeping away from any kind of impact) and not to worry.
I asked my surgeon if I would eventually have to have the ankle fused. He considers that a last resort and said technology is changing all the time. New replacements are always coming out and we may find something better. He also said I may become tired of having surgeries to replace the plastic and don't want to "have a zipper" in my ankle and I may decide on the fusion. He advised me to wait it out another six months and make my decision then.
By nature I am a worrier but I am trying my best to stay positive and remember what it was like before my surgery. The pain and the difficulty in doing everyday things. I am still so much better off than I was over three years ago. Being an active person is who I am and I cannot sit still, although I will be careful not to do anything that will jeopardize my implant.
I will post updates over the next few months, if there are any changes, and will definitely post up on my progress at my six-month follow-up. Thanks for reading!