Total Ankle Replacement: Marc's Story
There's nothing like revving up the engine of a vintage motorcycle for 57-year old Marc Defur. The sound, the smell, the feeling of riding the wide open road, it's no wonder why building and restoring these classics are his passion. But like these worn down roadsters, Marc was also feeling his own wear and tear and needed a tune-up. "All of a sudden it became very painful to walk. I started walking with a limp and it was painful to ride my motorcycle, I knew something wasn’t right," explains Marc.
Marc was starting to experience severe ankle arthritis, a condition seen with age or prior trauma such as an ankle fracture or sprain. His arthritis was so severe, there was hardly any cartilage left in his ankle. "I was in extreme pain and my entire quality of life went down," he explains. After a couple years of feeling this extreme pain, Marc decided to go see his physician and was referred to orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Fran Faro at Swedish Medical Center. "Marc was the perfect candidate for a total ankle replacement. Ankle fusion is usually the standard procedure for this type of ankle injury but because of his age, having a total ankle replacement was the preferred choice," says Faro.
Marc’s case would be the first total ankle replacement in the last decade to be performed at Swedish Medical Center. "This type of surgery was uncommon in the past but is now becoming more common because of the technology we have. On average there are about 3,000 procedures performed each year in the U.S.," explains Faro.
The total ankle procedure has been performed on patients since the 1970's. The new re-designed implants help patients have less pain, better range of motion and full function after surgery. "The recovery was so short. I was out of my walking cast and back on my motorcycle after two months," says Marc.
Marc’s new ankle is expected to last 10 or more years. "It’s a life saver; it gave me so much back in my life!"