Online groups can prove a great source of support when you’re recovering from ankle or foot surgery.
Populated by others who’ve gone through a similar procedure, these groups and boards provide you a look into someone else’s experience, how they came through it, and what you might expect during and after your own procedure.
Below are 18 forums, boards and groups that have foot and ankle discussions, and where you might get some answers your own questions. There’s also one for professionals only, and we’ve included that for those of you who like to read up on the latest studies about podiatry.
Discussion Boards on Health Sites
eHealth Forum, Twitter: @eHealthForums
With 200+ medical forums, this free online health community is one where you can feel free to post questions about any condition, and you’ll receive answers from other members. There’s an “Ask a Doctor” section in which medical advice from qualified health professionals is available, which is also free of charge.
For knee and ankle conditions, depending on the cause, you might try the Broken Bones Forum, the Arthritis Forum or the Orthopedics Forum, all of which are under Conditions and Diseases.
Similar to eHealth, MedHelp covers hundreds of conditions, with Medical Support Communities and “Ask a Doctor” forums. You can help others by sharing your experience or get advice from others who have gone through similar issues as well as from doctors.
For knee and ankle conditions, you might try the Orthopedics Forum or the Osteoporosis Forum under Medical Support Communities.
There’s a weekly “Ask The Doctor” forum at Foot.com. Once you’ve registered as a member, you can post your question and Dr. Emily Splichal will answer it. You can also browse active topics to see if your issue has been addressed.
Tudiabetes.org, Twitter: @diabeteshf
If your foot issues are related to diabetes, the discussions at Tudiabetes.org might help. Although there’s no specific board related only to feet, there is one called “Diabetes Complications and other Conditions,” with “feet” being a frequently discussed topic.
HealingWell, Facebook: HealingWell
This support community offers information and resources in addition to its forums and chat rooms. The best place to start with respect to foot and ankle conditions might be the Osteoarthritis forum. There’s also the Rheumatoid Arthritis forum you may wish to search.
Inspire, Twitter: @teaminspire
You’ll need to register in order to take advantage of the health and wellness support at Inspire. There are several hundred communities from which to choose, with 63 groups under “Bones, Joints and Muscles” alone. Once you’ve joined a group, you can read the latest discussions or start a new one yourself.
This Google group seems to have just a few posts every month, but they all get responses. People share their experiences with the best shoes for sports post-surgery, how much pain is considered normal, and whether the expected length of recovery time can be relied on.
Support Groups, Facebook: Support Groups
Although the top support groups tend to deal with mental health issues, with 220 condition-specific groups available, you will likely find one that best fits your concern. There are groups for Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Osteoporosis, and Surgery, among many others.
HealthBoards, Twitter: @Health_Boards
This is a group community with 200 message boards on various diseases, conditions and health topics. One of the boards under Bone-Joint-Muscle is specific to foot and ankle problems, including fusions, fractures, questions about weight-bearing and bunions. Other boards of interest include Bone Disorders, Orthopedic and Osteoporosis.
SteadyHealth, Twitter: @steadyhealth
Sharing experiences and offering advice to each other, the more than 250,000 members of this site gather on the boards most pertinent to them. Under Body and Health conditions, there’s a board where people talk about issues related to bones, muscles and joints, with recent topics including nerve pain after foot surgery and stiffness after bunionectomy.
Patient Info, Facebook: Patient
This UK-based health information website has multiple discussion forums where patients can speak to other patients — and a bunion is a bunion, no matter what side of the pond you’re on. Groups include Hallux Valgus (bunions), Foot and Toe Problems, Flat Feet, and Ankle Problems.
City-Data.com, Twitter: @City_data_com
There’s a Health and Wellness section at City-Data.com that can be searched (under “Search this Forum”) for discussions pertaining to things such as “toe,” “ankle surgery” and “bunions.” Although the site is actually a general information hub for cities in the US, there are some 15,000 new posts daily on every topic imaginable, so you should be able to find a foot and ankle health discussion pertinent to your condition.
Goodbye Crutches, Facebook: Goodbye Crutches
Discussion pages on this scooters and walkers distributor site are subdivided into Foot, Ankle, Bunions, Achilles, and Athletic. You can also simply browse all to see whether a specific page deals with your experience or question.
Here, patients can share their experiences and can sometimes get answers from podiatrists and other foot healthcare professionals visiting from Podiatry Arena, listed below.
Forum for Health Professionals Only
Podiatry Arena, Twitter: @PodArena
The forums at Podiatry Arena are designed for communication between foot health professionals (including orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists and others) about podiatry and related topics. The forums do provide, however, studies and discussions between professionals on everything from dancers feet to barefoot running.
Health Discussion Boards on Sports Sites
Gimp Central, Twitter: @TetonGravity
The action sports site Teton Gravity Research has its own forums, including one related to injury, rehab and training discussions called Gimp Central. These skiers, bikers and runners have broken, pulled or otherwise injured many parts of their bodies, including heels and ankles and feet. Here, they share their experiences and knowledge.
Dedicated to covering and promoting the sport of running, LetsRun has busy message boards. While there’s not one specific to foot and ankle injuries, a quick search will bring up pages of discussions covering everything from an Osteochondral Defect (OCD) of the medial talar dome to how to prevent recurring Jones fractures.
The Health and Fitness board at the Tennis Warehouse forums has hundreds of pages in it. Use the search feature at the top right to look for discussions pertaining to feet or ankle injuries. This seems to be read-only, with no ongoing discussions regarding foot problems or recovering from surgery, but other conversations are current, so starting one might get you responses from other players.
Cycling Forums, Twitter: @cyclingforums
The Health, Nutrition and Supplements board at Cycling Forums features questions and answers about injury and recovery, too. When you search the term “ankle,” for instance, you’ll get discussions ranging from cycling with gout to a sprained foot and possible peroneal nerve injury from cycling.