A total ankle replacement can totally change your life

Is there an activity that you absolutely dream of doing but can’t because of a damaged ankle? I work with New Yorkers who have all kinds of interesting hobbies and interests. Some are athletes. Some are hikers. Others enjoy biking, gardening, and playing games with their children. It means so much to me when I am able to help a person overcome joint pain and get back to the things they love or want to try.

I recently read a heartwarming story in ExaminerLive about a gentleman in Huddersfield, England. At age 81, Neil Shuttleworth had a simple goal: walking comfortably down the famous Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes eating ice cream with his wife, Christine. The problem? Chronic ankle pain plagued his body. Such aching can make even simple tasks grueling, and Shuttleworth had turned to pain medications to manage.

“I knew I had to do something about it. My condition had become intolerable, I had virtually no cartilage and if I went over on my ankle the pain was agonizing,” he told reporters.

After consulting with his doctor, Shuttleworth decided to have a total ankle replacement, and the results have been amazing. Not only did Shuttleworth achieve his dream of exploring the Promenade de la Croisette, he also took flight and had a ride in a Spitfire plane. The adventure even included a barrel roll! And it all happens pain-free.

“When my surgeon asked me what I was expecting to achieve from the operation, I said I wasn’t expecting to run a marathon, but I wanted to be the best I could be for my age,” Shuttleworth told reporters. And it sounds like that’s exactly what he’s doing!

If you are in a similar spot as Shuttleworth was or want to avoid being there later in life, it’s important to take your ankle health seriously. Arthritis and other degenerative conditions can do significant harm to your joints, including your ankles. Total ankle replacements are usually reserved for patients with severe damage. It may be an option after other methods of treatment have not been successful.

The surgery is fairly straightforward: First, I remove your damaged ankle joint and prep the surrounding area. Next comes your artificial replacement joint, which helps restore your function and motion. Modern joints are made of top-of-the-line materials that are built to last for 10-15 years, and you can rest assured that you’ll be in good hands under my care. Your journey to healing will require patience and physical therapy, but you should be back to your normal self (minus the pain!) in less than a year.

If you’re considering an ankle replacement, give us a call to set up a consultation. I can’t wait to hear about your goals and help you get the healthy ankles you need to meet them.

Posted in: Ankle

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Dr. Hubbard’s goal as a Foot and Ankle Surgeon is to provide expertise in achieving an accurate diagnosis, implementing exceptional surgical technique whenever indicated, and most importantly, utilizing practical judgment to devise an effective individualized treatment plan that will restore the patient’s foot or ankle health and function, improving their overall quality of life.