In the mid 1980’s, Bill, then a Massachusetts State Police Officer, severely rolled his ankle while chasing a suspect through the woods. Although he was on desk duty for the next few weeks waiting for the swelling in his ankle to go down, the injury was deemed minor enough so as not to require a visit to his doctor. However his ankle issues were far from over.As a result of the initial damage, Bill began to roll his ankle more often and estimated that he suffered about a dozen sprains before he retired in 1988. Following his retirement, Bill embarked on a new career as an electrician, however he spent a significant amount of time outside on uneven ground, which led to more frequent sprains.
“It got to the point where I was rolling my ankle about once per month,” said Bill. “Since my initial injury, I’ve no doubt sprained my ankle dozens and dozens of times. Each time I reinjured it, the swelling would take a little bit longer to go down and the pain would be just a little bit more severe.”
Over the next two decades, Bill soldiered on, pushing through the constant discomfort and hoping that his ankle would somehow get better. Unfortunately, that was not the case. An avid runner, he was forced to give up that activity. Even more alarming, he began to experience significant pain in his right knee, likely due to him overcompensating for his ankle.
A visit to an orthopedic surgeon led to investigational surgery on his knee, but the doctor found no damage. Confused, Bill sought a second opinion with a doctor who also found nothing wrong with his knee. However, the second doctor took notice of Bill’s swollen ankle and after Bill explained his history with the ankle, he ordered an X-ray. The result was crystal clear: bone-on-bone.
Which is how it came to be that Bill met Dr. Thomas McDonald at New England Orthopedic Surgeons in Springfield, Mass. Dr. McDonald outfitted Bill with custom made braces which provided some relief, but it was only temporary.
“Dr. McDonald told me that I would eventually need to have the ankle replaced and that I would know when it was time,” said Bill. “My tipping point came in the summer of 2012, when I couldn’t walk 100 feet without assistance.”
On Dec. 21, 2012, Bill had his right ankle replaced with the INBONE™ Total Ankle System. Approximately one month later, Bill and his wife drove to Florida for the remainder of the winter. Just six weeks after his surgery, he was walking one mile per day in the southern sunshine. By August 2013, Bill was walking through nine holes of golf every day, which consisted of approximately three miles of uneven ground.
The INBONE™ Total Ankle is intended to be used to treat patients with ankle joints damaged by severe arthritis or a failed previous ankle surgery. The INBONE™ Total Ankle is intended to give patients limited mobility by reducing pain and restoring movement in the ankle.
Not everyone is a good candidate for the INBONE™ Total Ankle. Talk to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and health to find out if surgery with the INBONE™ Total Ankle is a good option for you.
“When I woke up from surgery, I was amazed that the constant throbbing that I had lived with for 25 years was gone,” said Bill. “It was an early Christmas for me. When I was walking, and later swimming, in Florida just a handful of weeks later, I knew I made the right decision.”
Many factors contribute to the length of hospital stay and rehabilitation. These factors include, but are not limited to, your age and health at the time of surgery as well as your surgeon’s determination of the appropriate hospital stay and rehabilitation. Additionally, there are risks associated with ankle replacement surgery such as pain and bruising, damage to blood vessels or nerves, infection, or blood clots that can travel to your heart or lungs. If you experience these complications, your hospital stay may be extended.
Today, Bill is living an active and pain-free life. In fact, he spent the summer of 2014 on the cross-country trip of a lifetime that culminated in a two-month stay in Alaska, where he and his wife explored the beautiful and rugged countryside.
“Since I received my new ankle, I’ve been on my feet constantly. In fact, I’ve probably put several million steps on it and haven’t had even one issue,” said Bill. “It couldn’t be better.”
These results are specific to this individual only. Individual results and activity levels after surgery vary and depend on many factors including age, weight and prior activity level. There are risks and recovery times associated with surgery and there are certain individuals who should not undergo surgery.