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Jul
30

“BACK IN THE SADDLE” WITH TOTAL GYM FOUNDER TOM CAMPANARO

When I tell people I had a total ankle replacement, the first reaction is, “I didn’t know they did that.” Knees and Hips are common, but ankles – that’s new!

After a motor cycle accident when I was 16, a broken leg that was just set with traction and a cast, (now steel pins would have made the alignment perfect) and all the sports, plyometrics and heavy weight lifting I’ve done, my left ankle had had enough! It was gone.

Four years ago the doctors said just get it fused, but I wanted full mobility – I am an active guy after all. So, I figured, why not an ankle joint replacement? However, ankle joint replacements were then very new and did not have a lot of success.

Pre-op. Getting ready to go into surgery.

After doing the research I found the STAR system out of Scandinavia, (Scandinavia Total Ankle Replacement). Although the medical technology had been used for over 25 years in Scandinavia, the STAR took nine years to receive FDA approval for use in the US, finally getting the go-ahead in 2009. I found Dr. Clanton at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado, he was one of the doctors who took the STAR system through the FDA process.

Off Joy and I went to Vail on May 12th for my ankle replacement surgery on the 17th. The results were instant and awesome, that is until I got an infection in the surgical wound.

So it was back to surgery (twice) to clean it out. Fortunately, the infection was not in the joint, (if it had been they would have had to take the replacement hardware out!), so this was only a two week set back.


Now, nine weeks “post-op”, I’m onto rehab (yes on the Total Gym), and my physical therapist says it’s looking really good. And while I won’t be running, jumping, biking, snowboarding, or playing golf any time soon, I’m walking with no pain and no limp (be it at a slow pace).

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