THIS POST IS PART OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES
Cheryl Kenyon has been riding horses for as long as she can remember. In fact, according to her family, she rode horses before she could even walk. However, there was a time when she thought she might have to give up her lifelong passion.
Cheryl won a tough battle with breast cancer, but she was surprised how the cancer treatment continued to affect her body. Specifically, the function of her feet and ankles started to become unreliable and didn’t allow her
to move quickly.
This was particularly troublesome because Cheryl and her husband, Thomas, raise Tennessee Walking Horses and Clydesdale horses on their farm. The young horses move quickly, making it hard to anticipate their movements, requiring Cheryl to move quickly when working with them.
Looking for a solution
When Cheryl’s ability to walk deteriorated to the point of affecting her ability to interact with her horses, she knew she had to find treatment.
“I have always been very active, showing horses throughout my life and even participating in competitive roller skating as a teenager. I began to realize that my lack of mobility was changing the ways I managed my farm, and that was a rude awakening because my farm had always been a place of joy and a break from stresses and worries,” said Cheryl.
“Instead of looking forward to doing chores, I was distracted by the constant fear of falling, combined with an unacceptable lack of mobility.”
A few years before her mobility issues set in, Cheryl went to OrthoIndy South to have a cyst removed on her wrist. Satisfied with her previous experience, she decided to look for a foot and ankle doctor at OrthoIndy. She scheduled an appointment with foot and ankle specialist, Dr. David Myer.
“I was impressed with every aspect of that first experience, from the administrative staff to the surgery,” said Cheryl. “Further, the overall professionalism was enhanced by the facility’s appearance as a modern health care provider. Without hesitation, I returned to OrthoIndy for help with my mobility issues.”
Foot and ankle reconstructive surgery
Upon meeting Cheryl, Dr. Myer ordered an X-ray of her feet and ankles. After showing Cheryl the problem areas, he was able to help answer all her questions and determine the course of treatment.
According to Dr. Myer, the problem with Cheryl’s feet was very complex. She had an arthritic deformity to both of her hind feet (the joints beneath the ankles), which severely limited her motion and placed her feet in a flattened and dysfunctional position. Additionally, Cheryl had severe arthritis to the joints of the midfoot on the left side.
Dr. Myer and Cheryl decided the best option was to treat both feet by fusing the arthritic and deformed joints back into appropriate alignment.
This helped realign her feet and eliminate the arthritic pain. Dr. Myer also had to fuse her arthritic midfoot joints on the left foot to eliminate painful arthritis.
“A fusion is when we prepare arthritic or deformed joint surfaces, often using bone graft and hardware such as plates, screws or staples to hold them in the appropriate position while the body heals the two bones together, essentially tricking the body into thinking the joint is a broken bone and allowing healing to knit the two bony surfaces together,” said Dr. Myer.
“This allows the joint to heal or fuse together in the desired position and eliminates pain coming from the degenerated and arthritic joint.”
In the end, Cheryl had two surgeries which included lengthening of the tight calf muscles, fusing the joints of the hindfoot back into appropriate alignment with screws and staples, and fusing the arthritic midfoot joints on the left side.
“Upon meeting Dr. Myer, I was instantly impressed with his communication skills and his willingness to explain in detail what surgical procedures would be needed to stabilize my ability to walk. His genuine interest in providing ‘patient centered’ care gave me the confidence to proceed with two very involved surgeries.”
Returning to work on the farm
After a long recovery process and a lot of hard work, Cheryl returned to her work on the farm. She has also returned to training young horses and even competes in National and International horse shows. Cheryl has even taken up raising Pygmy goats on her farm.
“I am now confident in my ability to move safely around my farm,” said Cheryl. “I credit Dr. Myer with my ability to walk properly and safely, with no pain and total maneuverability… and I am riding my horses again. Thank you, Dr. Myer, for this positive outcome, which has restored the quality of my life!”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Myer please call 317.884.5174 or learn more about foot and ankle treatment at OrthoIndy.
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