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Orthopaedic Innovative Surgery

October 6, 2006


Click to listen to this page using ReadPlease Dr. D. StevensAnother surgical milestone has been achieved at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. On Friday, October 6th, three patients surgically received an innovative Orthopaedic ankle joint replacement for the treatment of severe ankle arthritis. Leading North America in the development of this new prosthesis, Dr. David Stevens, Orthopaedic Surgeon, led a team of TBRHSC Surgeons to implant the devices.


“The difference in outcome” says Dr. Stevens, “is dramatic. Rather than fuse the ankle, which would significantly impair normal movement, the total ankle arthroplasty enables patients to enjoy greater flexibility of motion. In fact, it is quite similar to what each patient used to enjoy before the ankle joint deteriorated in its ability to function normally. As well, the procedure to insert the device is less invasive to the patient, so the recovery time is considerably shorter. The length of stay as an in-patient is only a couple of days.”


After suffering for years with a bad ankle, Thunder Bay resident, Don Shaver says he was glad to hear he had been chosen to receive a new ankle from Dr. Stevens. “I heard about the innovation and wanted the new procedure since I’ve been hobbling around for a long time using crutches and a cane. Besides being in a lot of pain, I opted for the new prosthesis because a fused ankle would have restricted my movement for the rest of my life. Now it is just a matter of getting used to my new ankle. Receiving the leading-edge care in my own city is an added bonus.”


Dr. Gordon Porter, Chief of Staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is himself an Orthopaedic Surgeon and was in the Operating Room during the surgeries. “Once again,” he says, “TBRHSC is on the leading edge of patient care in North America. The people of Northwestern Ontario should be proud of what we are offering here. It is significant.”



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