20 years ago, Chuck Boyle of Hazlet, NJ, began experiencing significant ankle pain and quickly scheduled an appointment with his doctor to address the issue. When his doctor asked him to reflect on what might have caused the irritation, Chuck remembered twisting his left ankle while practicing as the corner back for his high school football team decades prior. It was the only injury to his ankle that he could remember, so Chuck and his doctor decided that his ankle likely was injured at the time of the twist and had since deteriorated over time.
After consulting several physicians Chuck became frustrated. He was given a soft brace, but his pain was unrelenting. Chuck remained active in spite of the pain, “I told one physician that my ankle hurt most when I played racquetball with my friends. That physician told me I should “stop playing racquetball,” I was floored. When he suggested I have an ankle fusion, where the two bones are fused with one another, I knew it wasn’t the option for me. I was looking to increase my mobility, not limit it permanently.”
Chuck continued to deal with the pain as best he could and would wear the soft brace he was given, even though it offered very little support. His ankle pain got increasingly worse when he began running five miles a day on top of playing racquetball. The constant movement caused the two bones to grind against one another leaving Chuck in constant pain.
Frustrated, Chuck decided to go to a new doctor to discuss his ankle issues. This is when he was referred to Dr. Eugene Batelli at Metropolitan Ankle & Foot Care Specialists in Totowa, N.J. Dr. Batelli reviewed Chuck’s X-Rays and confirmed the damage in his left ankle. Together they discussed two treatment options – total ankle replacement and a procedure that would provide temporary relief and would likely require total ankle replacement down the road. Sick of living in constant, nagging pain, Chuck elected to have a total ankle replacement.
On January 7, 2016, Dr. Batelli implanted the INFINITY™ Total Ankle Replacement into Chuck’s left foot. Immediately after surgery, Chuck was in a boot support and on crutches, but once his rehabilitation program started five weeks post-surgery, his ankle began to improve quickly. A week later, Chuck was able to remove both the boot and crutches and began more rigorous rehab of the ankle. Despite a noticeable limp 12 weeks out, Chuck said he was “a world apart from where I was six weeks ago.”
The INFINITY™ Total Ankle Replacement 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 Replacement 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 Replacement. Talk to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and health to find out if surgery with the INFINITY™ Total Ankle Replacement is a good option for you.
With a speedy rehabilitation, Chuck looked forward to healing and beginning a life that did not revolve around pain. “I look forward to being able to play with my three children without having to think about whether my ankle will hurt afterwards,” said Chuck. “Even everyday tasks like mowing the lawn. It’s been years since that was possible without experiencing significant pain the same day.”
Fortunately, Chuck was able to find a great physical therapist with James Bonardi, MPT and was dedicated to a speedy and thorough healing process. He found that a quality therapist and rigorous treatment regimen is key to aiding in recovery. The most important part of the recipe for rehab, Chuck found, is how much work you do. “The more work you put into it, the quicker you recover,” and he found true motivation in his children, family and work as a taxi driver, which all benefit from his quick recovery and a life of mobility and activity with ease. Without his new ankle, none of this would be possible to continue without debilitating pain, and those factors all make his life fulfilling and are an important part of his happiness.
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.