New Ankle, New Game for a Danbury Tennis Enthusiast
Randolph Sealey, M.D.
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Twice a week, Guenther Duethorn, 76, of Danbury has two words on his mind: Tennis, anyone? The retired United Nations professional is back on the court following a total ankle replacement to repair what started as a sprain while learning to ski as a teenager.
Over the years, Duethorn’s ankle condition developed into tendonitis and arthritis caused by a growing misalignment of his foot and leg. The conservative therapy that included cortisone injections was no longer providing enough relief to allow him to walk, travel and enjoy life without pain and with proper balance.
“My ankle had bothered me all my life, but about three years ago I couldn’t move freely anymore. There was a clear gap in my ankle on the x-ray. What started innocently enough just got worse,” Duethorn explained.
Dr. Randolph J. Sealey, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery, reconstructed Duethorn’s ankle eight months ago also repairing the delicate tendons and ligaments to restore his balance and coordination. Recovery included six weeks in a cast followed by a walking boot and several months of physical therapy, which has renewed Duethorn’s strength and determination both on and off the court.
“Dr. Sealey did a super job. You can’t even see the scar where the tendon was repaired, and I am back doing the things I enjoy. I am very glad I had the surgery,” Duethorn said.
“In the past, patients with a condition like Mr. Duethorn would have had little options beyond wearing a boot and coping with pain and problems with balance and walking,” Dr. Sealy explained. “If we fused the leg, securing it with screws, he still would have had a lack of mobility. More advanced techniques now allow total reconstruction of the foot and ankle to improve both function and lifestyle. With the correct alignment of the foot and leg, we have restored his freedom of movement and reduced his risk for injury.”
Dr. Sealey and the comprehensive team of orthopedic joint specialists are always striving to enhance the scope of care for patients at Danbury and New Milford hospitals, which formed Western Connecticut Health Network in 2010. The range of services includes partial and total joint replacement, including sports medicine, and a full array of rehabilitation services to promote rapid recovery and a return to active lifestyles. The network’s orthopedic joint services are complemented by a highly specialized spine program to address painful conditions of the back and neck.
Known for its high-quality outcomes, Danbury Hospital was recently designated as an Aetna Institute of Quality® Orthopedic Care Facility for total joint replacement surgery. Aetna makes information about the quality and cost of services available to its members to help them make informed decisions about their health care needs. In line with this goal, Aetna recognizes hospitals and facilities in its network that offer specialized clinical services for certain health conditions. Danbury Hospital was selected for consistently delivering evidence-based, safe care for pain and functional limitations that come with injury or illness of the bones, joints and muscles. The Hospitals’ orthopedic physicians are committed to providing expert diagnostic evaluation, medical treatment, and surgical procedures for a variety of musculoskeletal, orthopedic and spinal conditions.
For more information about Western Connecticut Health Network orthopedic joint specialists, visit us online at WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org, or call 1-800-482-1387.
About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region’s premiere, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the two hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes the following affiliates:
Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women’s health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive and joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for neonatology with a Level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit and accredited sleep disorder centers. Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.
For more information, visit WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org, DanburyHospital.org; NewMilfordHospital.org and share your comments with us Facebook.com/DanburyHospital or Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospital.