Torn Ankle Ligament Treatment
Tom: A Chain Reaction Procedure
I was headed toward a knee replacement and wasn’t happy about it. My wife and I are long-time cross-country skiers and rowers, and I still compete in both sports. I knew from friends that regaining full range of motion after surgery was an issue, especially for rowing.
A few years ago, I was in my 16th American Birkebeiner—a 55-kilometer ski race in Wisconsin—when it started to feel like someone was stabbing one knee or the other every tenth stride or so. I had to drop out at 23 K’s. The knees had been a chronic problem. Steroid shots and glucosamine did nothing. My first Synvisc series stopped working after six months and my second did nothing.
Seeking a Solution
After the Birkie disaster, a friend who had seen Dr. Kim for help with knee problems recommended highly that I at least have a consultation with him. I’m glad I did. My initial PRP injection held for seven or eight months, as Dr. Kim said it might, before the pain returned. It was wonderful to have had nearly pain free knees for the first time in many years, so I decided to try for more permanent relief with stem cells in both knees.
That was three years ago and I’m able to do almost anything I want. I’m still skiing and rowing a lot. In fact, I’ve done two more Birkies and a bunch of rowing races since the treatment. My knees still ache some, but I’ve come a long way from having to cling to the bannister and wall coming down the stairs each morning in my own house.
After the success with the knees, I asked Dr. Kim to look at my right ankle. I’d previously had surgery to replace tendons I ruptured on a routine ski outing. The surgeon did a fine job, but my ankle had been weak ever since. I almost had to think consciously about each step or I’d risk stumbling or falling, which I did sometimes anyway. The surgeon had offered more surgery, which was pretty invasive and more than I wanted to risk.
Looking at the Cause
Dr. Kim started thinking through why my ankle collapsed, which wasn’t something that had concerned the surgeon. He eventually diagnosed a nerve deficit, so we started talking about how to get the nerve to regenerate to prevent more ruptured tendons. Using several different therapies, he’s gotten back about half my nerve function, although the ankle is still a work in progress. Happily, it’s enough that I haven’t taken a fall in over a year. Even if the issue is never completely resolved, though, I know that I am getting the most current treatment from a caring and involved practitioner who will continue to look for answers.
That’s something I really like about Dr. Kim. He doesn’t give up easily and is committed to helping you improve as much as possible. You know he loves what he’s doing. And, besides the fact that he’s doing cutting-edge stuff, he’s down-to earth. An office call with him is always fun and I always walk out smiling. I’m very happy to have found such a dedicated and competent physician and I’m grateful for all his help.