In January 2014, I called Rebound Orthopedics to ask Dr. Woll to do a below knee amputation of my right leg. I had broken my ankle in three places in 1974, had been in a posterior splint (to immobilize the ankle from the movement that caused so much pain) since 2005, and had been taking opioid medication for many years in an effort to keep working full-time despite “severe post-traumatic arthritis” in the ankle joint. By the end of 2013, my ankle pain was so severe that I hobbled through work each day leaning on a cane, and had stopped exercising. The pain was so severe that it kept me awake each night, as I twisted about, trying to find some position of comfort. I hurt so badly, so much of the time, that I decided I would rather get by on a prosthetic leg than to suffer any longer with grinding, shooting pain all the time. A major concern was that the last time I had seen Dr. Woll, he had estimated that ankle joint replacement surgery was still five years in the future. Thinking that it had only been three years since I’d heard Dr. Woll’s estimate, I concluded that amputation was my only viable option. When Dr. Woll saw me in clinic a few days after my call for an appointment, he smiled when he heard my request and told me he was very pleased with the newly FDA-approved STAR ankle prosthesis, and offered me a joint replacement surgery. It had indeed been five years since my last visit. Ten days later, I was admitted to the hospital for surgery. At 11:00 AM the next morning, I was in a friend’s car, discharged home, in far less pain than I’d lived with for the past 27 years. Six weeks after the operation, I was back to work (on a knee scooter, for sure, but working). Seven weeks after surgery, I was off all pain medication. I knew, when I requested surgery, that Dr. Woll was on orders with the US Army to return to Active Duty (for his fourth deployment overseas!). In his absence, Dr. Woll left me in the capable hands of Dr. Pierce and the Rebound staff, all of whom did a phenomenal job in my post-op care. With each and every visit to any of the Rebound offices, I was met and assisted by distinctively pleasant, skilled receptionists, patient services representatives, x-ray and cast technicians, medical assistants and medical providers. By the time Dr. Woll returned from service in Afghanistan, I was walking without a limp, working full-time without mechanical aid or pain medication, riding my bike, driving…in short, living life to the hilt. To conclude that the operation and post-operative results have been life-changing would be an understatement. There are very few activities Dr. Woll told me to avoid (ex: racket sports), but I basically do anything and everything I want. My quality of life is, in a word, excellent.
Rebound Orthopedics & Neurosurgery