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Gary M

“I have lived with pain for 45 years and to finally be virtually pain-free is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and my wife couldn’t be happier. I can help around the house and go dancing any time she wants now.”

In November 1969, 25-year-old Gary was playing in a pick-up football game when his foot caught a divot in the frozen field, causing him to fall and shatter his right ankle. His ankle and foot were broken in three different places and he had torn all of the surrounding muscles and tendons except for his Achilles.

The doctors operated the next morning and after a week in the hospital, Gary left with two pins and three screws in his foot and ankle and a cast that he wore for ten weeks. Several days after leaving the hospital, Gary returned to his job as a chemical engineer, but his activities were restricted because he was ordered to stay off his feet.

Once the ankle healed, Gary was left with about 50 percent mobility in his right ankle and was in a constant state of mild discomfort. Over the next ten years, the cartilage between his bones had completely worn away and calcium deposits had begun to grow, which turned mild discomfort into significant pain.

In the spring of 1979, with the pain so intense that Gary could barely move, he made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon who removed the calcium growths, which produced a slight increase in his ankle mobility. Gary was given the option of an ankle fusion, but he knew that would mean sacrificing his active lifestyle and hobbies he loved – such as hunting, fishing, and softball – so he chose to forego the fusion and deal with the pain.

Every year, the pain worsened and by 2006, Gary was forced to curtail his active lifestyle, meaning he could no longer go dancing with his wife, play softball or go for a run. By 2013 and in constant agonizing pain, Gary began to seriously consider undergoing an ankle fusion.

It was around this time when, as luck would have it, Gary accompanied his mother to her appointment at Reconstructive Orthopedics in Vineland, New Jersey. Her doctor, Dr. Richard Jay, noticed Gary’s limp and inquired about his injury. After taking x-rays, Dr. Jay informed Gary that he was an excellent candidate for a total ankle replacement with the INBONE™ Total Ankle System by Wright Medical. Thrilled to find an option that would alleviate his pain and allow him to resume his lifestyle, Gary quickly agreed to the procedure.

The INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement is intended to give a patient limited mobility by reducing pain, resorting alignment and replacing the flexion and extension movement in the ankle joint. The INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement is indicated for patients with ankle joint damaged by severe rheumatoid, post-traumatic, or degenerative arthritis. The INBONE™ Total Ankle is additionally indicated for patients with a failed previous ankle surgery.

Not everyone is a good candidate for the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement. Talk to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and health to find out if surgery with the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement is a good option for you.

In January 2014, Gary received his new ankle. After four days in the hospital, he returned home in a cast and crutches. Several weeks later, he began three months of physical therapy and has been getting stronger every week since.

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, Gary is on his way to a full recovery and is enjoying every minute being back on his feet. Over the summer, he was able to go on all-day fishing trips and as the new school year gets underway, he is looking forward to attending the local high school football games.

“I knew the day after the surgery that I made the right call, the pain was basically gone,” Gary said. “I have lived with pain for 45 years and to finally be virtually pain-free is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and my wife couldn’t be happier. I can help around the house and go dancing any time she wants now.”

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.