Medical Minute 1-3: New Surgery for Foot Troubles

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

"Tape a rock, a pebble under your toe and try walking around barefoot," said Mary Lou Barlow.

For years, every step Barlow took--hurt!

"I couldn't walk on it because if I did I had to wear something cushioned; I couldn't go barefoot," she said.

Mary Lou suffered with hammertoes ...Toes bent painfully out of their normal position. The traditional treatment requires a long pin sticking out of the front of the toe that stays in for weeks to straighten it.

"It was just too traumatic, I just didn't want to do it," said Mary Lou Barlow.

Duke University Surgeon Dr. Selene Parekh told Mary Lou she was a good candidate for this new smart toe implant.

"I'll cut a little bit of the bone out and we'll drop the implant into the bone, into the two bones that surround the joint. That will then hold the toe straight," said Selene G. Parekh, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Duke University Health System.

Kept on ice before surgery, the implant expands with the heat of the body, holding the bone in place while it heals.

"This has been a revolutionary change for hammer toe surgery," said Dr. Parekh.

Just five weeks after getting the implant, Mary Lou is back on her feet -- even going barefoot without pain.

"I am going to be running around the house without shoes on, from now on!"

A busy woman, happy to be back in step with her active lifestyle.

For more information, call (407) 740-0789 ext. 579

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