Journalist, agony aunt and author Virginia Ironside couldn’t believe it when she was able to walk only two weeks after her ankle replacement operation.
Seventy-nine-year-old Virginia has arthritis which was particularly painful and severe in her right ankle. After trying exercises, ankle supports, orthotics and special shoes, Viriginia became less and less mobile.
She said: “When I was at home I was limping around the house and swinging from piece of furniture to piece of furniture like Tarzan so that I didn’t put any weight on my ankle. I did try steroid injections at first but they didn’t work for long.”
Virginia made an appointment to see Fortius Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon Mr Ioan Tudur Jones at Fortius Clinic Marylebone. He explained that Virginia had two options – an ankle fusion or an ankle replacement.
Ioan said: “Given Virginia’s age and the fact that she wasn’t wildly active, we agreed that an ankle replacement was most suitable. An ankle replacement rebuilds the biomechanics of the ankle and enables your gait to come back to as near normal as possible after the operation.”
Ioan explained that Virginia would have a CT scan of her ankle and lower leg. This would generate a 3D image which would be used to work out the best way to fit an ankle replacement into Virginia’s ankle. The data enables Ioan to check the replacement is the correct fit and that it moves without affecting other bones.
Virginia had her operation at the Fortius Surgical Centre and spent two weeks in a rehabilitation clinic because she would have struggled to cope at home alone.
She said: “I didn’t need crutches. I just had a surgical boot and was able to walk only two weeks after my operation. It was amazing! It felt completely normal. And there was no pain.”
Ioan added: “The key is to get you moving as soon as possible after the operation. The techniques we use ensure that the implant is in the ideal position and because we’ve removed the arthritic portion of the joint and replaced it with the implant, the pain goes away.”
You can read about Virginia’s operation in The Telegraph here