In November 2018, I sprained my ankle rock climbing and I fell while bouldering from 12 feet. My ankle took the brunt of the injury and was severely sprained. I first went to physical therapy, and was assured that in a matter of time, my very sprained ankle would be healed.
I’m a teacher, which means that I spend 8-hour days on my feet. I couldn’t do anything as I could before – HIIT exercise, yoga, running 5ks, walking my dog, walking down the stairs… it was all impossible. It became clear after 3 months of living with a severe sprain that I needed to do something so I could walk without limping and find a solution to end the chronic pain.
I Googled “foot and ankle specialists” and came across Dr. Jordan Stewart of Timonium Foot and Ankle Center. After reading as much as I could find about him, it seemed that this was the guy that would fix me (I hoped!). Dr. Stewart was honest with me from our first meeting. Although he admitted that I truly had a Mangled Ankle (a play on my maiden name, Magliaro), he was very confident that he could fix me. He encouraged me to not get depressed and assured me that if I did what he said, I had the opportunity to become well. He laid out several options for how he could help me. We started with conservative care and tried to avoid surgery with a day brace, night brace, lots of rest and better footgear.
After about 6 weeks with conservative care, there was little change in my condition. An MRI confirmed a severe ligament tear and surgery was our only option to reconstruct my ankle. At this point, I returned to Dr. Stewart’s reviews and read about all the patients whose lives he had changed. I was confident that although surgery was scary and not something I wanted to do, it was what was best for me, and he was the best guy to do it. Not only this, but he referred me to a classmate for a second opinion who told me, “If I needed someone to operate on my family, I’d pick him.” I was sold, and surgery was scheduled for June 2019. I put a little pressure on Dr. Stewart because I was getting married in September 2019, so I needed to be able to walk down the aisle for the big day – there was literally no room for error. Of course, Dr. Stewart came through and my surgery was perfect. The surgery was very smooth, and I stopped using pain killers after 3 days, which was a huge relief to my friends and family.
Dr. Stewart and his staff were always willing to help me and answer my questions post-op. I came in a few times to get my cast changed as I felt anxious about it being too tight, or if I was feeling uncomfortable. They were always kind, empathetic and understanding. During my recovery, I was growing depressed and feeling trapped inside my home, but Dr. Stewart gave me homework to get out of the house every day, which I believe greatly influenced my recovery. I was even able to enjoy a vacation to Florida at the end of the summer with the help of my trusty scooter.
In the time since I’ve seen Dr. Stewart, I’ve lost 10-15lbs, I’ve started to get back into shape as I was before, and the best part is that my ankle is 100% better than before surgery!! In fact, while Dr. Stewart had me under the knife, he discovered that I have weak bones, which has led me to pursue bone strength and bone health, which is critical for women. I can’t imagine where I would be without him. I’m almost sad to say that I won’t be seeing him or his staff as much anymore!
* Results may vary from person to person