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Most people are aware that technology exists to replace arthritic hips and knees, but, until recently, patients suffering from ankle osteoarthritis had limited options. However, technological advancements are helping people like Jack get back on their feet.

Jack has always been active. He played 17 years of competitive baseball, along with football. He also coached his sons’ baseball and football teams for 10 years and played tennis and golf, and was an avid water skier for more than 25 years. When he reached retirement, he was thrilled to devote more of his time to traveling with his wife and enjoying his favorite hobbies.

Jack said, “The first eight years of my retirement were incredible. I was always playing tennis, golf and traveling. It was a dream come true.” However, in 2005, he developed an initial ankle pain while playing tennis. The pain became increasingly worse, and by 2007 Jack required quarterly cortisone shots.

Jack’s misery affected every aspect of his life. Playing tennis and walking the golf course were no longer options. Jack and his wife were forced to postpone trips because he couldn’t walk more than 25 yards at a time. Jack had to ice his ankle every evening to alleviate the pain. What was once a dream retirement turned into a nightmare. In early 2007, Jack began researching his surgical options.

Several doctors suggested ankle fusion, a procedure where the ankle bones are literally fused together. While this may alleviate pain, it often requires patients learn a new walking approach and limits range of motion. Although Jack momentarily considered it, he didn’t want to undergo a procedure that would limit his quality-of-life. A short time later, his research led him to Dr. Benjamin Overley, a podiatric surgeon in Pottstown, Pennsylvania who has performed dozens of total ankle replacements. Intrigued by this option, Jack immediately made an appointment with Dr. Overley.

Dr. Overley, as well as Dr. James DeOrio of Duke Medicine, concluded that an INBONE Total Ankle Replacement, from Wright, would allow Jack to resume his dream retirement. After consulting with his wife and family, Jack received his new ankle on August 21, 2009.

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.

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

After seven weeks in a cast, Jack started wearing tennis shoes while taking short walks. In November, he resumed normal activity without the unbearable, ever-present pain that he had been used to and returned to the golf course to began chipping and putting.

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.

On December 1, 2009, Jack took his first full golf swing. According to Jack, ankle replacement surgery is “a life changing experience.” “My new ankle allowed me to reclaim my life. I can walk the golf course – up and down hills and in and out of bunkers – and am able to chase down the ball that occasionally finds its way to the bunker.”

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.