Patient Stories

For most of his life, Matthew has battled juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and causes persistent pain, swelling, and stiffness. The 48-year-old systems analyst from Lucketts, VA, had suffered significant cartilage loss in all his joints, but the condition was most acute in his ankles. “My right ankle had deteriorated to the point where it was just bone-on-bone,” he says “It was so painful, I’d have to walk on my toes when I got up in the morning. My wife told me I was moving like an old man.”

Matthew knew he needed an ankle transplant, but he didn’t like the options available. As his pain intensified, he consulted Dean Bennett, MD, a joint replacement specialist at OrthoVirginia, who recommended something new: the INBONE™ Total Ankle System.

Created by engineering experts, this state-of-the-art implant replicates natural anatomy and features design elements already proven successful in hip and knee implants. It offers numerous advantages to patients including enhanced fixation, better fit, a less-invasive installation process, and minimal bone removal.

“OrthoVirginia is an excellent practice and Dr. Bennett is a great surgeon who is committed to helping his patients resolve their pain and restore their mobility and quality of life,” he says. “He knows I’m happiest when I’m busy and thanks to him I’m as busy as I can be. Life is an elixir and I want to enjoy all of it. Nothing is going to slow me down.”

Matthew was convinced. “I’m an engineer so I know how these things work. It all looked good to me.” In January, he became the first patient in the metropolitan Washington area to have a total ankle replacement using the INBONE system. Dr. Bennett performed the procedure.

Following his surgery, Matthew recovered much more quickly than expected. He began flexing his ankle immediately and was walking on it at four weeks, instead of the usual six to eight. Now he’s busy building a carriage house on his property, and keeping up with his 9-year-old daughter, Maggie.

He feels fortunate to have found the solution to his debilitating ankle pain. “OrthoVirginia is an excellent practice and Dr. Bennett is a great surgeon who is committed to helping his patients resolve their pain and restore their mobility and quality of life,” he says. “He knows I’m happiest when I’m busy and thanks to him I’m as busy as I can be. Life is an elixir and I want to enjoy all of it. Nothing is going to slow me down.”