Transformative ankle surgery gives gentleman new lease of life Skip To Content

Transformative ankle surgery gives gentleman new lease of life

Date Posted: 9th August 2023

Mr Ogwyn Alexander has captured the hearts of St Joseph’s Hospital with his life changing journey. Mr Alexander underwent ankle replacement surgery with Mr Kartik Hariharan, Consultant Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon. Prior to his surgery, Mr Alexander was experiencing persistent pain when walking and resting his foot. Unfortunately, this prevented him from performing simple, everyday tasks such as walking up the stairs and undertaking the activities he loves such as walking in the countryside and going to watch the rugby. 

Despite being highly anxious, Mr Alexander decided to take control of his life and saw Mr Hariharan at St Joseph’s Hospital for an initial consultation, with the hope that his ankle pain could finally be resolved. At his appointment Mr Alexander said that Mr Hariharan was realistic and extremely reassuring. “He gave an accurate time period from the get-go regarding having surgery to finishing physiotherapy, and then to being able to walk pain free” commented Mr Alexander. 

Mr Hariharan explained in detail the several different options that would be available and the flexibility in his joints that Mr Alexander could expect post-surgery from each option proposed. Throughout Mr Alexander’s journey he had X-rays, physiotherapy, and hydrotherapy to which he has commented, “I was impressed with every aspect of my journey, all staff were friendly, encouraging and provided first-class care throughout.” 

Mr Alexander was provided with a knee scooter which enabled him to maintain his independence in and outside of his home, whilst also being able to rest his ankle properly during his recovery process. He was able to complete fundamental tasks such as making meals, something which had been a struggle previously due to his ankle pain. Mr Alexander commented, “The knee scooter was excellent for the first 6 weeks of my recovery where I wasn’t weight bearing”. When he was able to apply pressure to his ankle, Mr Alexander was able to wear a medical orthopaedic boot. With this he was successfully completing leg exercises and using the stairs efficiently, as guided by the physiotherapist team. 

Post-surgery Mr Alexander worked closely with St Joseph’s Hospital’s physiotherapy team to increase the flexibility and mobility in his ankle. He stated, “The team were incredibly reassuring, and this boosted my confidence tremendously giving me hope of one day being able to walk again”. 

Senior physiotherapist Oliver Wilding has commented “Ogwyn had a course of physiotherapy after having an ankle replacement in July 2022. By working alongside the physiotherapists at St. Joseph’s Hospital he weaned out of the boot and started to learn how to walk again. To help with the weaning process and start to build mobility and strength, Ogwyn had multiple sessions in the hydrotherapy pool. He worked hard in the pool and was able to gradually build up his walking. It is great to hear he has been able to reap the rewards of his hard work, the team are incredible proud”. Hydrotherapy is a fantastic opportunity to practice weight bearing and strengthen the muscles before moving to land exercises.

Several months post-surgery Mr Alexander can accomplish everyday tasks pain free and get back to the activities he loves. He has commended, “I can now walk more comfortably than I have been able to in 10 years. I’m experiencing more flexibility in my ankle than I’d have ever hoped for allowing me to be more adventurous on my country walks. I am also taking up new activities such as swimming”.

Mr Alexander said his experience with St Joseph’s Hospital has been excellent and completely life changing, and he wishes to thank all the wonderful team involved with his journey.

We thank Mr Alexander for sharing his wonderful story. It is a delight to see the great impact our consultant, Mr Hariharan, and our clinical team including physiotherapy have had.