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Tom, a 69-year-old Henderson, Nev. resident, is a local business owner who leads an active lifestyle comprised mostly of golf and long workdays on his feet. However, when an old ankle injury began to jeopardize Tom’s quality of life – keeping him from work commitments and exercise – he knew he needed to find a solution.

In his early twenties, Tom’s service in the U.S. Army Special Forces combined with a rigorous lifestyle of football and strenuous exercise, resulted in serious damage to his ankles. Eventually the cartilage in Tom’s right ankle deteriorated, leaving his joint bone-on-bone and leading to severe arthritis.

Tom endured decades of increasing pain and decreasing mobility, but in 2007 he began receiving cortisone and steroid shots to reduce the pain. Although the relief from the shots was only temporary and Tom often experienced significant swelling, his physician recommended delaying surgery for as long as possible.

“By late 2010 the pain in my right ankle became intolerable and I was virtually immobile,” said Tom. “I couldn’t walk more than 10 feet without having to sit down–it was really affecting my quality of life,” said Tom.

Tom immediately began researching and visiting orthopedic surgeons in his area to discuss treatment regimens and was told that an ankle fusion was the only option.

“The doctor admitted that an ankle fusion would leave my ankle stiff, that I would have limited mobility and would likely walk with a limp,” he said. “I immediately rejected that procedure because I wanted to enjoy an active lifestyle.”

In November 2010, Tom met Dr. Troy Watson at Desert Orthopaedic Center in Las Vegas and learned about a total ankle replacement as an alternative to ankle fusion. Dr. Watson felt that Tom would be a good candidate and recommended the INBONETotal 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. 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 further research into total ankle replacements and surgeons across the country who were using the INBONE, Tom felt confident in Dr. Watson’s recommendation and underwent surgery at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas on June 30, 2011.

Two days post-surgery, Tom returned home and began the recovery process. With the help of a knee scooter, he was able to quickly get around and only two to three weeks after the operation, he was on his feet and back at work full-time.

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.

“After the INBONE surgery I was more productive at my company and could work much longer hours. Before, I was in so much pain that I often had to come home early to rest my ankle. I just couldn’t be on my feet all day,” said Tom.

Tom is approaching his one year anniversary of his surgery and he is pain-free.

“I can now go for three to five mile walks and my ankle feels great. It’s flexible and I’m finally mobile again,” he said. “I’ll be 70-years-old soon and I’m back to enjoying life and looking forward to many more years of golfing, fishing and exercising now that I can get around without pain.”

Tom was treated with an INBONE Total Ankle Replacement. Total ankle replacements are a viable alternative to ankle fusion, which is a surgical procedure whereby the three bones that make up the ankle joint are literally fused together. While ankle fusions often reduce or eliminate the pain, they do not restore the ankle’s range-of-motion.

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.