I saw Doctor Y. yesterday. He did my sons ACL knee surgery, my mother in laws hips, Fletches hip, and advised me on my knees 5 years ago. He told me that my ankle pain was related to the old fracture of my talus bone from 1982. It healed less than perfectly. He said there was nothing he could do surgically to improve my ability to climb. He gave me a cortisone shot and told me to get arch supports at a running store (Route 16 by the skate park), and some boots that support my ankle better.
“I could put you in a cast for 6 months, immobilize that entire leg. But when you came out of the cast your ankle would be trash. It needs to be used, so go climbing, do what you love, those endorphins are good for you. Nothing you do will make it worse than it is already.”
“What about ankle replacement surgery?” I asked.
“If you were an inactive 85 year old, I might think about it. But those devices are very fragile. Their popularity goes up and down quickly. They invent one, it works well for a few years, and then it fails. Fusing the ankle would severely limit your climbing as well. Forget about it.”
He showed me my x-rays and pointed out the difference between a normal ankle joint and mine. My joint healed crooked. I don’t have the normal smooth curve at the contact points between talus bone and tib/fib. He said I should expect it to hurt, but that it might improve with better, more supportive foot wear.
As he pointed out, it doesn’t hurt at all when I climb, it’s just the approach that gets me. Supportive shoes and or an ankle brace could help with the approach. I ordered a 200 pair of wide work boots online and I’ll go from there. If I can get some good boots to have as supportive a foot bed as my chacos, plus stabilize my ankle, things might be looking up!