I broke my tibia and fibula and dislocated my ankle while playing softball back in 1981. I slid into third base and my front cleats stuck and twisted my left ankle 90 degrees. We had a good softball team and traveled a lot. We played around 80 games a year and this was our very first game of the year at our first tournament. It happened after my third hit that game so I finished the 1981 season batting 1.000! That tournament was in Cedar Rapids, and that’s where they put my ankle back together. I’m from Marshalltown, and Dr. Lester here in town took over my care and recovery. He told me the doctor that did my surgery did a great job and he wished he could take the credit for doing it.
I missed that whole season of softball but played many years after that. I finally had to quit playing ball around 2000 because of the ankle pain. I love being outdoors and working around the farm but the pain in that ankle had gotten so bad within the last year or so, I just drove around in my truck most of the time. I had to turn my left foot completely sideways to walk. After some X-rays it was determined that the pain in my ankle was due to severe arthritis. I was referred to Dr. Joseph Galles at Iowa Ortho in Des Moines. After Dr. Galles got done checking everything he told me I had three options. I could get a new ankle (total ankle replacement), I could fuse the ankle or I could just put up with it the way it was. I told him how about a fourth option – just cut it off! He had a good sense of humor and we both laughed about options three and four. He was great and went into much detail explaining how both options one and two would work. I really liked him as a person and I was confident having him do either option. He left the final decision up to me and I chose to get my ankle replaced. Everything went perfect. As long as I didn’t try to move my foot around in the cast, my ankle had zero pain. From the time I woke up after the surgery in the cast until I took the boot off about five weeks later, I had zero pain.
I would pat Dr. Galles on the back every time I went to see him and thanked him over and over. That ankle is absolutely normal now. It doesn’t quite have as much movement as my right ankle yet but it gets more movement as time goes on. I can do anything I want with it without any pain. At 66 I’m not playing ball anymore but I feel like I could if I wanted to. Thanks a million, Doc. And thank you everyone at Iowa Ortho!