I rolled my right ankle often, but on July 9, 2017 while doing yard work, I heard a pop followed by excruciating pain that took my breath away. I knew it was broken but didn’t want to admit it. The next day I couldn’t walk on it, so I went online to find the closest available doctor. Dr. Jordan Stewart and the Timonium Foot and Ankle Center was the first listing I saw. It was close to home and they could see me that afternoon. I was greeted by kind staff in the office and appreciated that Dr. Stewart was on time for my appointment because I was in pain. An x-ray confirmed that a piece of bone had broken off in my ankle, but it didn’t reveal the torn ligament which would ultimately result in surgery 2.5 years later. Dr. Stewart was very direct about my injury and options. I could get the bone removed surgically or wear a boot and we would see how it healed over time. I decided to try wearing the boot first before doing any surgical procedures. At least I could walk with the boot and I didn’t have to have a cast over the summer. The truth is I was scared to have surgery.
After months of physical therapy the pain in my ankle never fully went away, but I convinced myself I could live with it. Dr. Stewart suggested laser therapy, which we did to help with the healing process. Following the laser therapy, my ankle had some improvement, but over time the pain got consistently worse and I was not able to wear my favorite shoes anymore. My activity level was very low, and I was living with pain every day. I was always an active person, but after 12 months I tried to resume an exercise routine including walking and running with friends, but there was just too much pain.
I went back to Dr. Stewart after I wasn’t improving and conservative care had failed. He felt that surgery was my best option. We knew the bone fragment needed to come out, but there was still some undetermined pain. An MRI confirmed what Dr. Stewart suspected and there was a tear of my ankle ligament. Dr. Stewart took the time to really explain the surgical process in great detail, what possible issues could arise, the healing time, and the challenges post-surgery. He assured me that he would determine what was causing the pain and fix it during the procedure. I trusted Dr. Stewart to do what he does best, which is to heal his patients. Dr. Stewart is a very experienced foot and ankle surgeon, so I made the decision to proceed. In addition to my ankle injury, I had bunion pain on the same foot and made the decision to have this fixed during surgery. I mean why not just get it all done at once!
At the end of February 2020, following a big work event, I finally had the surgery. Everything went very well, and Dr. Stewart removed the ankle bone fragment, repaired my torn ankle ligament, and he shaved down my bunion and realigned the bone with a screw. I will never forget waking up to Dr. Stewart being so excited to show me the before and after pictures of my perfect procedure. My foot looked like Frankenstein with a million stitches, but he was very proud of his work and I was unbelievably grateful it was over!
I am now four months post-surgery and still working at my recovery to get full motion back to my ankle and toe. The good news is….I finally have NO MORE PAIN!!! It has been a long road and I’m truly grateful for Dr. Stewart and his attention to detail, honesty in setting expectations, directness about all possible scenarios, kindness at each office visit, accessibility if I had questions, punctuality for all of his appointment times, and commitment to the overall health of me – his patient. Thank you, Dr. Stewart!
* Results may vary from person to person