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Bella B

Looking back, Bella B can trace her osteoarthritis to the winter of 1985, when a shove from a well-meaning friend caused her to fall from a ski lift and land awkwardly on her leg. Lucky for her then, after six weeks in a cast, she was back to normal and lived for quite some time pain-free.

That’s why Bella, an active, certified nursing assistant at a Boca Raton area hospital was disappointed when complications from the 30 year old ankle injury resurfaced in the form of extreme arthritis and forced her into retirement earlier than planned. What’s more, the intense pain she felt made it nearly impossible for her to get around her Coral Springs home without leaning on furniture, making the fitness classes she loved out of the question.

Bella saw several doctors, one of which prescribed her cortisone shots, but it did nothing to help the pain. She learned that ankle replacement was an option for her but didn’t feel many of the doctors she met with had enough experience. Finally, an orthopedist recommended Dr. Steven Steinlauf at Orthopedic Associates of South Broward. After switching insurance companies to ensure she could be covered, Bella made an appointment with Dr. Steinlauf. The two of them, along with a friend and her son, met with Dr. Steinlauf for over an hour, and Bella felt like she was in good hands. Dr. Steinlauf explained that he had previously stopped doing ankle surgery as he hadn’t liked the products available on the market, but a new implant called INFINITY™ Total Ankle System from Wright Medical was now available. He had completed 30+ successful INFINITY™ Total Ankle replacement surgeries. While some of Bella’s friends and family expressed concerns because they were not familiar with ankle replacement surgery, Bella knew this was the best option for her and the only way she was going to feel better and get back to her active lifestyle. She booked her surgery with Dr. Steinlauf.

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.

“Lots of people hear surgery and are inherently afraid. I’ve been surprised about how many people in the medical profession don’t even know about ankle replacement. I had both knees replaced in the last five years so I was comfortable with the idea of my ankle being replaced. I knew it needed to happen for me to stop being in pain.”

Bella’s right ankle replacement was conducted at a hospital in Hollywood, Florida on March 22, 2016. The procedure took only a couple of hours, and Bella was released a few days later. She used a walker to get around the house the first few weeks post-surgery. In addition to beginning physical therapy, Bella worked out from home using elastic bands as she was determined to get back in action as soon as possible.

“There was some pain during the recovery period, but I knew I had to work through it to get better and now I live pain-free.”

Just one month post-surgery Bella was walking on her own. Today – a little over six months later – she is back to the active lifestyle she loves and goes to the gym five days a week for spinning, swimming and aqua aerobics classes.

“I would definitely recommend an ankle replacement to anyone considering it. I’ve always been someone who does what I have to do to get to the other side of whatever challenge I’m faced with. For me, the month of recovery time was well worth it to get back to the active life I loved.”

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.

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.