I underwent surgery for replacement of my right ankle in early November of 2020. The surgery was accomplished by Dr. Steven Neufeld and his first class team. The surgery was required after several years of steady deterioration in my ankle’s performance that became so severe that I had to wear an Orthopaedic boot in order to be able to walk.
I chose Dr. Neufeld to perform my surgery based on the recommendation of my primary care physician. I was also aware of Dr. Neufeld’s reputation as I had been considering corrective action for my problem for some time. During this time I explored the science and processes of ankle replacement and was concerned until very recently about the maturity and success rate of the prosthetics and processes that were being used.
When Dr. Neufeld explained that he and his team worked with the Inova Total Ankle Replacement Program and employed the INBONE™ Total Ankle System, I became convinced that the time for the surgery had arrived. I was especially impressed that a CAT scan would be used to develop a prosthetic ankle that would be tailored to my specific situation.
The replacement surgery was performed at the Inova Surgery Center. It was obvious that Dr. Neufeld and the Inova team were perfectly integrated and coordinated. The operation went flawlessly and I was able to go home the same day.
Follow up care has been thorough and complete. I had a dressing on my foot and ankle for about ten days and then transitioned to a cast for about three weeks. When the cast was removed I wore a boot for about three weeks and then moved on to physical therapy. Physical therapy took a month to complete (Two sessions per week). At the completion of physical therapy (Which was accomplished at the Foot and Ankle Center) I was able to walk without pain. It has now been ten months since my surgery and everything is fine.
I have several suggestions that can ease the journey from surgery through recovery.
- Obtain a pair of crutches and practice with them before surgery. Using crutches requires strength and balance that need to be honed before needed.
- Obtain a knee scooter. During the time the dressing and cast are being worn no weight can be placed on the ankle. As with the crutches, practice using the scooter beforehand.
- Obtain an equalizer for use on your unbooted foot while wearing the orthopaedic boot. (An EVENup™ shoe balancer/ equalizer is a good choice.)
- Accomplish exercises to improve body strength before surgery.
- Take physical therapy following surgery seriously. I have continued the exercises that I learned for both ankles. It is amazing how favoring one leg over the other can mess up both of them. The exercises have helped to balance things out.
- Obtain compression socks such as Copperfit™. This helps to control swelling that will occur following surgery.