“Thanks to my new ankle, I am back on two feet and living life without anything holding me back.” Becky said.
In 1989, 16 year old Becky was picking up her brother and some friends at a New Year’s Eve party when she fell on the front steps and broke her left ankle. Doctors at the hospital told her that she had a clean break but there was severe damage to her tendons.
She left the ER with a cast and crutches, however her tendons did not reattach properly to the ankle so she underwent surgery several months later. Following the surgery, Becky spent two months in a walking cast but was alarmed when she continued to experience tremendous pain after it was removed. Her concerns were compounded by the fact that her doctor attributed her concerns to “overreacting.”
For more than a year, Becky attempted to remedy the persistent pain with cortisone shots. To make matters worse, fluid began to build up in her ankle, which swelled to five times its normal size. Shortly after, Becky was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, where it was determined that the ligaments in her ankle “had died,” leaving her heel completely detached from the ankle joint. A month later she underwent reconstructive surgery.
For three months, she was not able to put weight on the ankle. Although the pain had diminished, it remained constantly present, leading her to walk with a limp. Because of the injury, Becky was forced to quit her high school basketball team. While the last two years of high school should have been an enjoyable time in her life, Becky was faced with misery and uncertainty.
Through the years, and as Becky embarked on a teaching career, arthritis began to set in, but she was determined not to let it interfere with living her life. Doing her best to forge through the constant pain, she remained active with her husband and kids, enjoying swimming, golf and being outdoors as much as possible.
By 2013, the pain which Becky had been living with for 24 years became crippling and impacted all facets of her life: she often woke up in the middle of the night in agony, was forced to sit in her classroom as she taught and at one point, was forced to crawl up stairs.
Desperate and at wits end, Becky scheduled a consultation with Dr. Greg Alvine at Core Orthopedics in Sioux Falls, S.D and was told that she had two options: ankle fusion or ankle replacement. Having previously researched ankle fusion, Becky knew that the lack of mobility wouldn’t allow her to enjoy the lifestyle she desired so she decided to undergo one more surgery and receive the INFINITY™ Total Ankle System from Wright Medical.
The INFINITY™ Total Ankle System is intended to be used to treat patients with ankle joints damaged by severe arthritis or a failed previous ankle surgery. The INFINITY™ Total Ankle System is intended to give patients limited mobility by reducing pain and restoring movement in the ankle.
Not everyone is a good candidate for the INFINITY™ Total Ankle System. Talk to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and health to find out if surgery with the INFINITY™ Total Ankle System is a good option for you.
In June 2014, Becky received her new ankle and after 3 months of rehabilitation, was able to walk virtually pain-free. By the end of August, she climbed onto her bicycle for the first time in years and began taking her two dogs on short walks around her block. In September, she was back in her classroom, standing in front of her of new students, ready to enjoy the first year of her career without pain.
“I’ve had pain every day for 25 years and I can’t begin to describe how happy I am that I don’t suffer anymore,” Becky said. “Thanks to my new ankle, I am back on two feet and living life without anything holding me back.”
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.