I could not believe that I was able to move around pain-free,” said Susan. “I was optimistic going into the operation, but the results far exceeded my expectations.”
Severe ankle arthritis can be caused by a number of factors. For some, it is the result of a traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. For others, especially those who are very active, wear-and-tear over time is responsible. For Susan, a resident of La Jolla, Calif., her journey to a total ankle replacement began at birth as she entered the world with a small, high-arched right foot.
Despite being told by doctors that she would eventually experience problems, Susan lived much of her life without incident. She enjoyed a myriad of activities, including tennis and horseback riding, and for several decades, was largely pain-free.
“Every once in a while, I could feel my ankle lock up, but I was able to loosen it by stretching,” said Susan. “It was not acutely painful and it never prevented me from living my life.”
Except for those periodic episodes, Susan lived much of her adult life without any impediments. As she progressed through her fifties, however, the ankle began locking up more frequently and as the years went by, it became more difficult to loosen. It also began to cause her discomfort.
By the time Susan was in her mid-sixties, her ankle had deteriorated to the point where she felt significant pain walking on it. A visit to a podiatrist resulted in her receiving periodic cortisone shorts, which offered relief, but only temporarily.
“I was on a European vacation in late 2010 and the ankle was so bad that I was in tears. It was excruciatingly painful and I couldn’t put any weight on it. At that moment, I would have agreed to amputate it just to relive my suffering,” recalled Susan. “I knew that I needed to see an orthopedic surgeon.”
A few months later, Susan had her first consultation with Dr. Franz Kopp at San Diego Orthopaedic Associates. X-rays showed severe cartilage deterioration. Dr. Kopp came to the conclusion that she would eventually need a total ankle replacement. To that point, he wasn’t impressed with the available options however shortly thereafter, he became familiar with a newer and more promising product, the INBONE™ Total Ankle System from Wright Medical. While he came up to speed on it, he prescribed another series of cortisone shots.
Once again, the shots provided short-term relief and when they were no longer effective, Susan’s quality-of-life deteriorated significantly. Walking was extremely difficult and she developed a noticeable limp. An avid gardener, Susan was forced to significantly curtail, and eventually abandon, one of her favorite activities.
By early 2012, Dr. Kopp was formally trained on the INBONE™ Total Ankle System and Susan’s surgery was scheduled. However, a freak injury on uneven ground in a cemetery left her with a broken fibula so the procedure was postponed until June of that year.
The INBONE™ Total Ankle System 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 System 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 System. Talk to your doctor to discuss your lifestyle and health to find out if surgery with the INBONE™ Total Ankle System is a good option for you.
Six weeks into her rehabilitation, when Susan was given the clearance to put limited weight on her ankle, she found that the agonizing pain she was used to was completely gone. Six weeks after that, she completed physical therapy and pronounced herself recovered from surgery.
“I could not believe that I was able to move around pain-free,” said Susan. “I was optimistic going into the operation, but the results far exceeded my expectations.”
Rejuvenated, she eased herself back into recreational activities, including walking, gardening and traveling. Today, Susan is enjoying her life without restrictions or worry.
“A few months after receiving my new ankle, I took a trip to Australia and New Zealand,” she said. “I thought back to that European trip several years before where I couldn’t walk on it and smiled. What a difference. I could not be happier.”
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.