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Heather

“I was able to completely get my life back and without pain medication. No one believed that was possible for me,” said Heather. “Dr. Dewey allowed me to resume living my life the way I had always planned.”

Until April 13th 2007, Heather was a healthy stay at home mom who kept busy taking care of her three children, actively helping out with their school functions and extracurricular activities and enjoying a variety of outdoor activities on the weekends. However that all came to a screeching halt after a head-on collision, which left Heather with several broken bones, including her right ankle, which was all but detached from her leg.

Doctors expressed concern that due to the severity of her injury, Heather’s right foot might need to be amputated due to a lack of sufficient blood flow. After spending over a week in the hospital, Heather went home, where she was bed ridden for two and a half months. Determined to get back on her feet, she gradually progressed through physical therapy and regained use of her right foot. By November of 2007, Heather was out of therapy and could walk without a cane, but arthritis quickly set in, all but eliminating the possibility of a pain-free existence.

As time went on, Heather adapted to the constant pain and was able to live her life, although she was unable to participate in many of the outdoor activities that she once enjoyed. In 2010, she entered the workforce, but the position required standing all day and it wasn’t long before the pain reached an unbearable level.

Several specialists that she consulted with suggested an ankle fusion, but Heather determined that the permanent lack of mobility associated with fusions was not a viable option. Unable to find a permanent solution that would allow her to recapture her quality of life, she persevered in pain, unable to crouch down, stand for a long period of time or walk on any kind of angle or incline.

In February 2012, Heather’s luck turned, albeit at the expense of her husband, who suffered an accident at work. While speaking with her husband’s doctor, he suggested that Heather see Dr. Donald Dewey, an ankle specialist at the Medical Center Clinic in Pensacola. Dr. Dewey prescribed arthritis medication, which significantly reduced the pain.

When Heather returned to Dr. Dewey’s office two months later for a follow-up visit, he informed her that she would be a candidate for the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement from Wright Medical.

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.

Heather received her new ankle in August 2012 and after spending a few days in the hospital, immersed herself in physical therapy, which lasted approximately six weeks. By the holiday season, she was on her feet and able to walk, bake and shop without limitations. She returned to work in January 2013.

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. 

While she continued to feel better each day, Heather knew that she had fully recovered when she walked a total of six miles, to and from her son’s dorm, during his military graduation weekend in the summer of 2013. Confident in her new ankle, Heather is planning camping trips with her family and hiking, an activity she has been looking forward to for the past six years, now pain free.


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.