WMBD/WYZZ-TV—PEORIA--Imagine feeling excruciating pain with every step you take.
That was Randy Higginson’s life until he underwent a total ankle replacement surgery.
For more than a year Higgenson couldn't even imagine lifting weights like he can today.
“I was to the point where I could hardly walk, I mean every step was a painful struggle,” said Higginson.
He then found himself in Dr. Nirain D'Souza’s office to discuss having total ankle replacement surgery. Which unlike traditional bone fusion surgery allows him to move his foot up and down and side to side.
“He essentially can do all the things he wants to do in life without having to his ankle a second thought,” said D'souza.
A 4 inch piece of metal is what now holds Higginson's ankle together, and D’Souza say it's what will help him walk for at least 12 years.
“Clearly we do know that artificial joints wear out,” said D’Souza about one of the disadvantages of the procedure.
So Higgenson is limited to how he can break a sweat, “Activities such as riding bicycles, walking, swimming, I have patients that golf with ankle replacement surgery,” said D’Souza about what patients can do post rehab.
Currently, Higgenson is undergoing his 5th month of straining and cycling in physical therapy.
“It's just a matter of patience like everything you know,” nodded Higgenson.
“We're expecting 100% recovery in strength and maybe not quite 100% with what we call range of motion,” said therapist Will Hostetler.
Still, as Higginson measures his progress, he is full of gratitude anytime he ties his shoes, and with every step he takes.
“In fact I thanked him the other day, I feel like he's giving me a second chance to walk,” smiled Higgenson.
Higgenson will be back to work on April 1st and plans on hitting the golf course as soon as the weather permits.
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about this surgery click here.