An Ankle Anecdote
An Ankle Anecdote

Physician: Joe Galles
Patient: Dave

Seven years ago, former Simpson College basketball player Dave twisted his left ankle while helping his parents move. He had injured his ankle more than a few times while on the court, so his initial thought was it was like an old basketball injury. However, despite his efforts to ice and elevate daily, a year had come and gone and he still had a swollen ankle.

This presented a real problem for Dave, as he is the sole employee of his own screen-printing business and the majority of his work requires him to be up and on his feet. Ready to speed up his healing process, he took the advice of a family friend and scheduled an appointment to see Iowa Ortho’s foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Joe Galles.

Dave’s original plan was to avoid surgery at all costs. However, two cortisone injections later he was still experiencing great pain in his left ankle. At that point, he decided that bypassing surgery was no longer an option. That’s when Dr. Galles sat him down to discuss the pros and cons of ankle-fusion surgery and total ankle replacement surgery.

When Dave left that day, he knew that ankle replacement surgery was what he wanted to do— even though he was going to be Dr. Galles’ first patient for the surgery. Dr. Galles also felt confident in choosing Dave to be his first patient for this surgery because of his positive attitude.

“He is a very determined individual, willing to do what it takes to succeed. He has an attitude which enabled him to become and remain the leading scorer in Simpson College Basketball history,” says Dr. Galles.

Before long, the day of the surgery came. Not only was it a big day for Dave and Dr. Galles, but also for Mercy Medical Center, as this was the first total ankle replacement surgery to take place at the hospital.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out,” says Dave. “I’d do it again tomorrow.”

Dr. Galles is also quite pleased with the results as Dave has gained back much of his flexibility and range of motion and has a pain-free ankle.

“I am grateful to Dave for his faith in me and Iowa Ortho and for advancing the science of ankle replacement technology,” says Dr. Galles.

Since Dave’s surgery, Dr. Galles has performed several more total ankle replacement surgeries and has additional ones lined up on his schedule. Although not everyone with ankle arthritis is a good candidate for the surgery, it is becoming more and more of a viable option for those looking for improved function and pain relief.

You can visit the Des Moines Regsiter to read a story about Dr. Galles’ procedure.