Real Patients. Real Stories – Kathleen Karr’s Total Ankle Replacement

total ankle replacement karrKathleen Karr thought her dancing days were over — until she underwent total ankle replacement surgery. 

Kathleen suffered an ankle injury during a car accident when she was 39 years-old. Unfortunately, the injury worsened over time. She began to lose more and more mobility in her ankle until, finally, she found herself barely able to walk.

Frustrated with her lack of mobility, Kathleen scheduled an appointment with an orthopaedist. After performing an initial exam and reviewing her X-rays, the doctor found that she had end-stage ankle arthritis and recommended an ankle fusion. While the procedure would give her back some mobility, the doctor warned that she would still not even be able to walk uphill or downhill following her surgery.

Kathleen had always been an active, vibrant woman. The thought of living out the rest of her life with such limited mobility just felt wrong to her. She had dreams of roaming the streets of Paris and dancing the night away. For her, barely being able to walk on flat ground was just not going to cut it.

Unsatisfied with what she was told, Kathleen decided to seek a second opinion. That’s when she found Dr. Jason Bariteau of Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center in Atlanta, Georgia. “Kathleen was severely limited from her ankle injury,” recalls Dr. Bariteau. “She had already tried several conservative treatment options, but still couldn’t do the things she wanted to do.” Kathleen and Dr. Bariteau discussed possible treatment options and weighed the risks and benefits of each. They decided that a total ankle replacement would be the best fit for her.

Total Ankle Replacement Procedure

Traditionally, patients with end-stage ankle arthritis have been treated with an ankle fusion, which can lead to significant limitations after surgery and could cause further arthritis in the foot. Fortunately, total ankle replacement has evolved over the last few years. Not everyone is a candidate for total ankle replacement, but those who are, often find it offers them consistent pain relief and improved mobility.

Kathleen had a great experience with the procedure and is now pain-free and loving life. “I went dancing last night. I’ve always been a very active person, and it feels good to get back to the things I enjoy. Going from not being able to do anything, to getting onstage to dance and sing, feels amazing. I’m back to my crazy old self!”

With her trip to Europe booked, Kathleen feels grateful to Dr. Bariteau. “He’s such a great doctor—so thorough and personable. That’s what gave me the confidence to have the surgery. And that’s why I have my life back! Thank you, Dr. Bariteau!”

Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center

Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center offers the full-spectrum of orthopaedic care. If you have a foot or ankle injury, we can help. We want to get you back to living the life you love.

Learn more about total ankle replacement

About Dr. Bariteau

Dr. Bariteau grew up in a small town just outside of Albany, New York. After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology at College of Saint Rose, he then pursued his medical degree at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. Following completion of his medical training, he developed his surgical skills during his orthopedic surgery residency at Brown University. He then subsequently completed two advanced orthopedics fellowships; the first at Brown University in orthopedic trauma and the second at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas Texas under the tutelage internationally known Foot and Ankle Surgeon James W Brodsky MD. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and three children. Learn more about Dr. Bariteau.

Tags: , , ,