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At the forefront of total ankle replacement surgery

Shirley Besl

Shirley Besl of La Crosse is no stranger to pain. For nearly 20 years she dealt with osteoarthritis in her right ankle, likely stemming from a break that didn't heal properly in her 50s.

What started as aggravating pain on the top of Shirley's foot became debilitating. "I pushed through the pain for years. I tried cortisone shots but they didn't last. I tried a partial foot fusion surgery, but the pain remained. At my worst, I couldn't even walk across my living room without stopping for a break," recalls Shirley.

But as she discovered early in 2013, there was a solution and it wasn't far from home. Shirley was referred to Gundersen foot and ankle surgeon Thomas, one of only a handful of surgeons throughout Wisconsin who is trained in the Prophecy® INBONE® Preoperative Navigation System - the first and only preoperative navigation system for total ankle replacement.

Using computer imaging and a patient CT scan, this advanced technology allows surgeons to map out a detailed surgical plan before the patient even arrives at the hospital.

"Unlike traditional ankle replacements, I can adjust the alignment of the implant and correct any deformity in the office rather than the operating room. In addition, 3D ankle alignment guides can be created (based on each patient's anatomy) to precisely size, place and align the new ankle during surgery," explains Dr. Roukis.

Patients experience many benefits, too, including:

  • A shorter surgery which means less anesthesia and blood loss
  • More preservation of existing bone
  • Less pain and increased mobility because the implant can be so accurately aligned

The INBONE® Total Ankle is intended to treat patients with severe arthritis or a failed previous ankle surgery. Shirley was a perfect candidate. In March 2013, she underwent surgery and is feeling the benefits today.

"I followed Dr. Roukis' guidelines for recovery including no weight on my new ankle for eight weeks after surgery. For the first time in years, I'm walking without pain," says Shirley who has her full range of motion back and no physical activity limitations.

"Dr. Roukis is a great doctor. He is upfront about the long recovery process but also puts you at ease when it comes to surgery. I would totally recommend the INBONE® Total Ankle Replacement. I've already referred friends. It has made such a difference in my life," Shirley adds. Gundersen's Total Ankle Replacement Guide can help you make an informed decision. 

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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