Jenny Smith has been an active person all her life: “I love to run, I love to hike, I love to cycle. In high school, I ran track. In college, I ran cross-country. In my twenties and thirties, I progressed to running on a treadmill.”
In her forties, however, Smith started experiencing pain in her right ankle, and it got worse over the years. Tests showed Smith had torn a tendon and she needed surgery.
But Smith also suffered from other foot problems. She had bunions, flat feet, and a splayed heel, and she wanted to fix them all.
Smith started looking for an experienced physician who could handle her multiple problems in just one procedure. After much research and visiting several doctors, Smith chose Dr. Vinayak Sathe, foot and ankle specialist at the New England Musculoskeletal Institute.
“He made me feel very comfortable. The way he explained the procedure that would be done was very clear,” says Smith. “I was impressed by his expertise, and I thought he would be the best choice for my surgery.”
Says Dr. Sathe, “Technically, it was four surgeries in one.”
For the torn tendon, he borrowed another one from Smith’s little toe, which was next to the tendon that was damaged. Once that was done, Sathe moved on to her heel bone.
“Her heel bone was out of position, so I had to break the heel bone, then align it and fix it with a couple of screws to get it into the right position. In addition, these patients usually have a very tight calf muscle, so I loosened her heel cord through her lower calf muscle to improve her flexibility and movements.”
The final step was fixing her bunion by breaking her big toe and realigning it. The entire procedure lasted five hours.
“Every day I wake up and I look at my foot and I’m so amazed,” says Smith. “He totally rebuilt and realigned my foot and took away my pain in my tendon, and I really look forward to being active again.”