If you stumbled across this blog because you are looking for more information about ankle replacements then you have hit ground zero!
Yes, this web site is for my work as a motivational speaker, but that includes motivating and inspiring my fellow ankle friends!
I received my own bionic ankle at the ripe old age of 30 (I’m currently 33), after suffering for seven years with limited mobility and constant pain (backstory: I severed my foot from my leg when I was thrown from a horse in 2007… more here).
While my new ankle replacement isn’t perfect, it is the next best thing!
In 2013 I received the Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle Replacement. Most important, I have had a world of success with my new ankle replacement. Below I have compiled some information to assist you on your ankle replacement research… I have had several people reach across the Internet and ask about my experience. The truth is, I’m writing a book about it… my current release date is scheduled for June 2016. If you would like an email notice when it is available please send me your contact info and I will keep you in the loop! Email me here
At the bottom of this blog I have compiled a series of videos I made in which I demonstrate the functionality of my new ankle replacement. I have also included an email dialogue I traded back-and-forth with a fellow ankle replacement friend from Australia!
I hope you find my ankle replacement information valuable. If you have further questions, or simply want to connect with someone who knows what you are going through, please feel free to reach out to me! I understand the lonely, scary road you are embarking upon and if I can help ease your mind I’m happy to connect with you!
You can always stay up-to-date via my social feeds too 🙂
For your research purposes:
My doctor: Dr. Mark Conklin of Panorama Orthopedics & Spine > http://www.panoramaortho.com/find-a-doctor/dr-mark-conklin/
My ankle replacement technology: Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle Replacement > http://www.zimmer.com/medical-professionals/products/foot-and-ankle/tm-total-ankle.html
Email exchange with my ankle friend from Australia:
Hi Adrienne, I was doing a search and came across your dancing video…You look happy…Could I please pick your brain? I am in so much pain and having a hard time even standing up. In fact, lying down is pretty bad right now as well…. I took my son camping a couple of weeks ago and haven’t been able to walk since… I know I have the option for an ankle fusion but I can’t bring myself to fuse, and that’s why it is being suggested I amputate my foot.
I go out when I can and see people dancing and smiling and laughing and I sit there in so much pain… people really just don’t understand it…
I would like to know how you made your decision on the type of replacement you have chosen and what you expect for your future… -J
Hi J. I’m so glad you reached out… Sorry to hear about your frustration, but I hope it helps to know I completely understand! I was so frustrated and feeling physically limited by the time I made my ankle replacement decision. I received my ankle replacement a couple of years ago, at the age of 30, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life! I must say, it’s not a perfect fix but it is 100 times better and I don’t live in constant pain.
I, too, have heard it all… fusion, amputation, ankle replacement, live with it. I heard “fusion” the most, but I just didn’t like that answer. Most surgeons dismissed an ankle replacement option because of my age, but I kept digging. Personally, I didn’t, and still don’t, believe an ankle replacement is a one-time option. In fact, the company that developed my replacement is currently developing revision options (in the event components wear out, etc.).
My doctor and I selected the Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle Replacement. I elected the surgery with the hopes that it will last for the next 70 years but I’m realistic that I may have to have some revisions. My doctor even suggested I might consider the INBONE by Wright Medical in the future. We started with the Zimmer because it was developed for younger, more active people. The INBONE has a lot of bone removal in order to implant the device and should it fail you are looking at other complications (i.e. possible bone grafts just to fuse). That being said, I have a girlfriend in her mid-fifties that received the INBONE a few years ago and she loves it as much as I love my Zimmer. Also, Wright has developed a low-profile implant to compete with Zimmer (I believe it is called the Prophecy or Infinity), but I don’ t know anyone with that particular ankle replacement implant.
Moreover, doctors are saying they may be able to take down an ankle fusion and implant an ankle replacement… crazy, right? I don’t like that idea for a whole different set of reasons, but nevertheless it is being discussed.
As you continue to research I’m happy to be a resource for you. I was the marketing director for an orthopedic group in Colorado, for four years, which is why I know a little more than the typical patient. I was also working for them when I received my ankle replacement. In fact, my colleague doctors are blown away at how well I have done… they call me the Zimmer Ankle Replacement Poster Child. Lol
Thanks to my ankle replacement, I have a somewhat active lifestyle once again. I enjoy yoga, mountain biking, ski biking, partner dancing, and going for 2-3 mile walks in the evening. I can walk on white sandy beaches again!! I’ve even climbed a rock wall! Yes, I still get stiff and sore but it doesn’t bother me and I doubt it would you either… considering the pain you described!
Side note: I’ve been working on a book for the past 18 months and I’m nearing done… I’m currently writing about my surgical decision. I hope to help more people facing decisions like you and me!