Two years ago, Corey Mardick was playing basketball with his colleagues when someone jumped and accidentally landed on his leg. The 25-year-old former Marine, who at the time was stationed in North Carolina, immediately knew something was wrong. His ankle began to swell, and the pain was unbearable. After he was treated for a sprain, Corey continued to have difficulty bearing weight on his ankle and maintaining stability. Last year, Corey retired from the Marine Corps and moved to Phoenix. His ankle continued to bother him and affected his ability to work and care for his two young children. He sought further treatment and was referred to Ryan T. Scott, DPM, who is part of a large team of fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons at The CORE Institute.
A Clear diagnosis
When Corey first met with Dr. Scott in August 2018, his mind was immediately put at ease.
“He was very thorough and knew right away that something was wrong after he performed a physical evaluation and reviewed my X-ray images,” said Corey. “The ankle sprain had damaged the ligaments and needed to be reconstructed.”
According to Dr. Scott, only about 20 percent of patients with an ankle sprain require surgery.
“The ligaments often heal on their own,” Dr. Scott said. “But sometimes, other factors like chip fractures in the cartilage and damage such as a tendon injury can require surgery.”
Since Corey could bear weight on his ankle, Dr. Scott first recommended conservative, non-operative treatment. As a chef at a local Valley restaurant, Corey continued to work but after the end of each shift, he would need to take a pain reliever and ice his ankle at home.
“We put Corey in a walking boot for three weeks and then transitioned him into a sport brace,” Dr. Scott explained. “Four months after the injury, he continued to have pain in his ankle. An MRI was performed to determine if his ankle was healing appropriately or if surgery was the next step in treatment. There was not much improvement and because of the severity of the injury, I recommended surgery.”
On Dec. 10, 2018, Corey had lateral ligament reconstruction surgery at The CORE Institute. The minimally invasive outpatient procedure lasted approximately 45 minutes.
“First, I used an ankle scope to clean out the fractured piece of cartilage and loose debris within the ankle joint,” Dr. Scott said. “Next, a small incision was made to rebuild the torn ligament with newer technology that can help augment ligament repair.”
Road to recovery
After surgery, Corey used crutches for three weeks and then transitioned to a walking boot, followed by a sport brace. He also completed physical therapy to regain strength in his ankle.
In early February, Corey returned to work.
“My ankle healed so well, I no longer have to worry about it,” he said. “I am confident and free to do whatever I want like running, jumping and holding my kids.”
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