Total Ankle Replacement: Marc’s Story

There’s nothing like revving up the engine of a vintage motorcycle for 57-year old Marc Defur. The sound, the smell, the feeling of riding the wide open road, it’s no wonder why building and restoring these classics are his passion. But like these worn down roadsters, Marc was also feeling his own wear and tear and needed a tune-up. “All of a sudden it became very painful to walk. I started walking with a limp and it was painful to ride my motorcycle, I knew something wasn’t right,” explains Marc.


Marc was starting to experience severe ankle arthritis, a condition seen with age or prior trauma such as an ankle fracture or sprain. His arthritis was so severe, there was hardly any cartilage left in his ankle. “I was in extreme pain and my entire quality of life went down,” he explains. After a couple years of feeling this extreme pain, Marc decided to go see his physician and was referred to orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Fran Faro at Swedish Medical Center. “Marc was the perfect candidate for a total ankle replacement. Ankle fusion is usually the standard procedure for this type of ankle injury but because of his age, having a total ankle replacement was the preferred choice,” says Faro.

Marc’s case would be the first total ankle replacement in the last decade to be performed at Swedish Medical Center. “This type of surgery was uncommon in the past but is now becoming more common because of the technology we have. On average there are about 3,000 procedures performed each year in the U.S.,” explains Faro.

The total ankle procedure has been performed on patients since the 1970’s. The new re-designed implants help patients have less pain, better range of motion and full function after surgery. “The recovery was so short. I was out of my walking cast and back on my motorcycle after two months,” says Marc.

MontroseDelta RideMarc’s new ankle is expected to last 10 or more years. “It’s a life saver; it gave me so much back in my life!”


How to Prepare for Orthopaedic Joint Replacement Surgery at Swedish Medical Center

If you will soon be heading to the hospital for orthopedic surgery, remember that your surgery is designed to improve your quality of life. Getting informed is a great way to prepare for your upcoming surgery and can help ease any anxiety you may have before surgery. Continue reading to learn how to prepare for the different stages of your surgical treatment.

  • Before Surgery: According to Dr. James T. Muffly, Swedish Medical Center orthopaedic surgeon, “One of the many strengths of the newly opened Swedish Orthopaedic Center is the emphasis on preparation prior to your joint replacement surgery.  Swedish Medical Center has an excellent Joint Education Class and Pre-Admission Clinic that are both informative and help ease many of the common concerns regarding your hospitalization.” Swedish Medical Center provides you with a Joint Instruction Booklet that outlines specific instructions, which will likely include not eating or drinking anything after midnight on the night before your surgery. Abstain from wearing makeup or lotion on any part of your body, and be sure to bring a few items with you to ensure that you are comfortable during your stay. These items may include your eyeglasses or contact lenses with a case, and a comfortable pair of shoes. You may also want a short robe that opens in the front, a comfortable and loose-fitting outfit, personal hygiene items, and slippers.  Do not bring valuable items such as laptops or jewelry. Leave your medications at home unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Make sure you discuss your medications with your doctor. If your doctor prescribes medicine before the surgery, be sure to follow his or her directions closely.
  • The Day of Surgery: Dr. Muffly states, “ The entire staff at the Swedish Orthopaedic Joint Center have one common goal in mind which is to keep you and your family informed and listen to any concerns that you may have.  Whether it is the check-in process, the anesthesia, the surgery, or the recovery unit – at every step we want you to feel that each went smoothly and was worry free.”
  • After surgery: You will have a team of physical and occupational therapists, orthopaedic nurses, aides, doctors, and discharge planners that monitor your progress and start you on your road to recovery with your new joint replacement

From the personal attention to the state of the art medical care, Dr. Muffly wants each patient to tell a friend, “I’m thrilled that I chose Swedish Medical Center for my joint replacement.”

For top-notch medical care from experienced and dedicated professionals, come to Swedish Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center in Denver, Colorado. We will be more than happy to answer all of your questions, so call us at (303) 788-5000.