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New ankle replacement offered in Pensacola
An innovative procedure is now being offered in our area. It is a full ankle replacement surgery. Unlike an ankle fusion, which are what most people receive after an injury occurs, an ankle replacement offers patients vastly improved function of their ankle.
Channel 3's Kalie Desimone joins us live this morning with more on how one woman total ankle replacement helped restore her mobility and flexibility with little to no pain.
"In 2007 I was in a head on collision. A gentleman passed out behind the wheel. The engine compartment came in and hit my legs," said Heather Freeman, who received full ankle replacement.
Heather freeman says she had a surgery to fix her ankle right after the accident but it wasn't long after that she began to notice more and more pain radiating from her right ankle.
"Over the years all the cushioning between the bones disintegrated," Freeman said.
That bone on bone rubbing was the problem and causing her excruciating pain.
"It seems like the little things in life like bending down to get something without actually getting on the floor," Freeman said.
Freeman says she could barely walk correctly at the end of a long day, let alone bend down to pick things up. But that all changed after she met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Dewey.
"You can have four to five times your body weight across an ankle joint," Dewey said.
Dr. Dewey says your ankle joint is one of those joints that tends to wear out faster. But until recently there hasn't been a near perfect way to fix it.
"It's basically glorified carpentry. You make a bone cut. They are very precise. You take the damaged portions away and then put joint replacements in," Dewey said.
The joint replacement device is called 'inbone' and this is what it looks like in a plastic model foot. It is the same device that was put in Heather Freeman's ankle.
You can see the difference in how here ankle is able to function in these before and after x-rays.
"It is literally a life changer. You are going to be scared, a little nervous but take it head on," Freeman said.
The device called 'inbone' generally lasts for about ten years in a patients ankle. After that time table adjustments and possibly replacement pieces of the device may have to be put in to help keep a patient at a good comfort level.