My One Year Ankle Replacement Arthroplasty Check Up

An Awful Snow Storm

Because of camping and the Coronavirus my one year check up on my InBone2 Total Ankle Replacement was delayed several months. I made the appointment long in advance for when I knew I would be back in Colorado. This presented no problems except that it was now December and I had to drive in an awful snowstorm.

I-70 was snow packed and icy with a good foot and more alongside the already plowed lanes. Plowed doesn’t mean clear. It was still snowing hard and all lines were obliterated. I wasn’t interested in driving faster than 35 mph. Braver people, no make that stupider, passed me. Inevitably, I would see them off to the side plowed into a snowbank or rolled over in a ditch a few miles later. A few semis had jackknifed fortunately closing only one of the two “lanes”. When are people going to learn.

Arriving safely, thank God.

I had made two appointments at The Steadman Clinic. My knees have been giving me some problems so I was set to see Dr. Hackett first for some cortisone shots and afterwards the follow up with Dr. Clanton.

Arriving safely at the Vail Hospital despite the treacherous trip from the mountain foothills west of Denver, I parked, masked up and took the elevator to the clinic. Dr. Hackett saw me quickly, shot both knees with cortisone and a lubricant. He reiterated that knee replacement could wait until, as he put it, “You’re forced to decline a friend’s offer to climb Mount of the Holy Cross together.” The way things are going, that’s going to be a while.

A Sudden Jolt

I had an hour and a half to kill between appointments and it being during COVID I spent it in my truck in the parking lot. After about forty-five minutes suddenly I felt BAM; someone hit the rear of my truck. Getting out I found that a guy in a pickup truck had been trying to back into the corner space next to me but had obviously missed. To have weathered safely such an awful drive only to have be hit in the hospital parking lot was ironic. He was very apologetic. 

We  exchanged information and I went back to the clinic to see Dr. Clanton for my check up, calling the Vail police as I sat waiting.

All Well with my Arthroplasty

As with previous checkups, they sent me to have my ankle replacement x-rayed. A short time later Dr. Clanton and his assistant came into the examination room. We exchanged some catch up small talk, looked at the x-rays, he manipulated my ankle and declared everything well and good. The x-rays showed that no movement or spaces had occurred between the bones and my InBone 2 ankle replacement

“All the data shows that your ankle replacement should last another good twelve to fifteen years.”,  he declared. One recommendation he did have is for me to wear an ankle brace when I’m hiking on uneven or rocky ground. That describes everything I do at my cabin where it is very rocky in places with lots of bushes and fallen trees to step over and skirt.

I went out to the parking lot to deal with the police and the owner of the truck. He felt bad. His wife was there to have a procedure on her knee at The Steadman Clinic and it was just a bit of bad luck partly due to the snow. His insurance ended up taking care of a new bumper so it wasn’t a problem.

The End of a Worthwhile Journey

I’m happy that Dr. Clanton felt everything was going well and as expected. It confirmed my feelings about the ankle replacement as well. There is still a bit of stiffness or lack of flexibility but nothing unusual. The numbness around the pads of my toes is less but still there. This is nothing I even think about unless I’m sitting with my feet up in a recliner. I’ll then do some ankle exercises; rotations, stretching etc., but it’s something I’ll likely have to live with. And that’s okay. This minimal amount of discomfort, if you can even call it that, is vastly compensated for by my ability to walk long distances pain free.

To close out my blog I’ll simply say that I’m very happy to have gotten a InBone2 ankle replacement. After a couple years of painful walking, trying everything possible to relieve it and live with it; Tylenol, CBD ointment, several types of braces, cortisone injections etc., the only true solution was a total ankle replacement or arthroplasty. I’m also glad I didn’t go the ankle fusion route. I understand it also would’ve also been successful but probably left me with a problem in my gait.

One of the best things I did was to have my total ankle replacement done at The Steadman Clinic. Dr. Clanton and his entire staff were friendly and professional. Everything went better than expected. I couldn’t be happier.

Note: Dr. Thomas Clanton retired shortly after my last check up. His long-time colleague, Dr. Haytmanek along with a new surgeon, Dr. Khan-Farooqi, who is without a doubt immensely qualified, now handle all the foot and ankle cases.

By Dennis Jones / Dreamcatcher Imaging