Lindy and her nurse

Nov 09, 2018 / Clubfoot & Foot Disorders

Share Your Story: Journey to Graduation

Meet Lindy, a foot patient who was placed into an Illizarov frame to correct her ankle after suffering an injury. Learn more about her journey below.
Blog written by Lindy, age 18 of Wylie.
Hey y’all – I’m Lindy! My journey began on April 11, 2017 when I fell down a flight of stairs at school. It was unlike any pain I’ve ever felt before. My friend ran to get my mom and I was rushed to the hospital. When I got to the ER, they told us that I had broken and dislocated my ankle and would need to have surgery. The next day, I went in for surgery and had one plate and six screws put in my ankle.
After my initial surgery, I was struggling with the pain so my parents decided to seek a second opinion. This is what brought me to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. At my first clinic visit, Dr. Amy McIntosh evaluated my ankle and asked questions about the progress I had made since my first surgery. I was released to walk and get back to normal day-to-day life. I began physical therapy, got a job and was trying to get my license – it was amazing! When I got home from work one day, we noticed abnormal swelling in my ankle. We called Dr. McIntosh and made an appointment. She sent me to get an MRI and after seeing the results, she then referred me to Dr. Anthony Riccio. He has a special clinic for patients with complex foot and ankle injuries.  
At my next visit, I met Dr. Riccio and Dr. Zide. They informed me that I had an infarct in my left ankle. This meant that I had tissue/bone death due to inadequate blood supply. Since my ankle had been dislocated for so long and blood flow was restricted to part of the bone, I lost the cartilage between the two bones. This caused the joint to rub against the healthy bone. Dr. Riccio and Dr. Zide were concerned that if I kept walking, my joint would collapse from the impact. After discussing various options, they told me the llizarov frame would be the best course of treatment.
Before the surgery, I felt scared. I was able to meet with another patient who had a similar procedure, plus I was able to talk with one of the hospital’s psychologists, Dr. Collins-Jones. After this, I felt really prepared to go into surgery. It was a long process, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. After my surgery, I was in a wheelchair for the remainder of my senior year, but Dr. Riccio gave me permission to walk the stage for my graduation - he’s pretty awesome!
My surgery took approximately four and a half hours and I had zero complications. Dr. Riccio told my parents that this treatment plan would give me the best possible outcome. I woke up with the frame on my ankle, but it was covered up so I didn’t see a thing until I was ready to do so. I relied on pillows and help from my mom to keep comfortable. All of my nurses and physical therapists were great. Everyone was so sweet and constantly made sure that I was totally comfortable.
The first day after surgery I was pretty motivated to get up and walk with my walker. I was able to put clothes on and do normal things, like brush my teeth! Dr. Riccio came to visit and was pretty shocked I was up that quickly. I went home three days later.
Currently, I am a few weeks out from my surgery and still doing great! The best advice I can give is to listen to your doctors. Get up and move as soon as you can, and don’t be afraid to voice your concerns. Also – make sure you use lots and lots of pillows! The nurses will help you find what is most comfortable. Plus, check out the child life center. Finding ways to stay busy and distract myself helped me get through my hospital stay. The time flew by!  
I believe that choosing to have this surgery will give me my best quality of life possible. There may be trials and tribulations, but I know that God, my family and Scottish Rite Hospital will help me through them.
To the hospital staff, I cannot begin to thank you enough for all you have done for me. You have helped me in so many ways and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have met you all. You have made such an impact on my life and I hope to work there one day!



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