Lowry, a 65-year-old Health, Ohio resident, was playing basketball at home with his son in 1990 when he fell and heard bones cracking in his right ankle. Over the next two years, Lowry had two separate surgeries to repair his ankle. Doctors removed pieces of broken bone and then removed damaged cartilage. Unfortunately, Lowry continued to experience debilitating ankle pain and was forced to give up his active lifestyle. Even walking around the manufacturing shop floor at work was excruciating. He had a noticeable limp and often stopped to hold on to something for support.
At the time, physicians told him that a total ankle replacement would not work and that an ankle fusion was his only option. However, Lowry refused to have a surgery that would limit his mobility so he continued to endure the pain.
In 2003, two of Lowry’s colleagues also broke their ankles (in separate accidents) and opted for total ankle replacements from Dr. Gregory Berlet and Dr. Thomas Lee at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Westerville, Ohio. Lowry closely watched his colleagues regain their mobility and he began researching the next generation of total ankle replacements, reading about other patients who had gone through the procedure and reviewing the clinical data available. Finally in 2010, after suffering from unbearable ankle pain for almost 20 years and with the confidence from watching his coworkers’ progress, Lowry took action and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Berlet.
X-rays and an MRI scan were taken of Lowry’s right ankle, and he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. His doctor agreed that Lowry was a candidate for a total ankle replacement. They both agreed that an ankle fusion would not be the best option as it would greatly restrict the mobility in Lowry’s ankle. Lowry had researched a specific total ankle replacement on the market but Dr. Berlet encouraged him to consider 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.
“I knew the consequences of an ankle fusion and that is why I waited so long to have surgery. Ten years ago an ankle fusion may have been the best option, but I was lucky that technology had advanced by the time I decided to have surgery,” said Lowry.
Eight months later, after further research into the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement, Lowry scheduled his ankle replacement surgery. On October 26, 2010, he was implanted with the INBONE™ II Total Ankle System from Wright Medical.
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.
Lowry had an excellent recovery. He was out of his cast and participating in daily physical therapy in just five weeks. After three months, with a lot of support from his family (both emotionally and physically), Lowry was back to his normal daily activities and walking without pain; even riding his bicycle.
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.
“It was amazing when I realized my life was back to a place I hadn’t been in 20 years. The first time I got back on my bicycle after my ankle replacement surgery I was watching the highway pass below me and I finally felt like I was back,” said Lowry. “Biking was something I never thought I would be able to enjoy again after I broke my ankle, so it was an incredible feeling.”
Today Lowry is pain free and very pleased with the range of motion and stability he has in his right ankle. He no longer feels like he is going to fall down while walking and his gait is back to normal.
Once you have healed, there is the possibility that the bone surrounding the INBONE™ Total Ankle may lose its ability to support the implant. If this occurs, additional surgery may be required to replace the implant or fuse your ankle. Additionally, it is unknown how long the implant can be expected to perform well once implanted.
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.