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Joseph’s story: Total ankle replacement surgery

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For more than a decade, 80-year-old Joseph Dugan suffered from severe ankle pain – often walking on the side of his foot to compensate.

“When I would sit down it was always swelled up, and my kids would say ‘Dad you (have to) get something done,’” says Joe.

Ten years ago, Joe thought he was “too busy” to get treatment, but in 2019 he sought the help of Jason George DeVries, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic®.

DeVries is board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery in foot surgery and in reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery.

He ordered x-rays and examined Joe’s ankle before recommending total ankle replacement surgery.

“(With the issues Joe had) his foot was tipped, he couldn’t get his foot flat on the ground at all,” DeVries says.

Joe received total ankle replacement surgery in September of 2019. During surgery, DeVries repaired Joe’s ankle, the ligaments on the outside of his foot and moved his heel bone.

After several weeks of physical therapy and more at-home rehab, Joe returned for his annual checkup in October 2020.

“I like to see total ankle replacements on a yearly basis… to make sure there’s nothing going wrong, because it’s a lot easier to head off problems early on,” DeVries says.

“(In Joe’s case) there are no problems what-so-ever here.”

Joe Dugan's foot after total ankle replacement surgery performed by Jason George DeVries DPM

“I’ve had no pain since we did it,” says Joe. “I can walk, and I can do things that ten years ago I couldn’t.”

Today, Joe and his wife Marilyn, enjoy an active lifestyle. Together, they try to walk or bike at least two miles every day and Joe enjoys yardwork and basic exercises.

“Every morning I get up and I do my ankle exercises and my other stretches to loosen up,” says Joe. “It’s been good … he did a fantastic job… my experience was great.”

Published: Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Author: Alysha Schertz