Patient Success Stories
Overcoming a Rare Ankle Condition to Walk Without Pain
The condition: At 32-years-old, Brian Sharp was living in constant pain. He faced losing his growing landscape design business due to a very rare and debilitating ankle condition called osteochondritis dissecans. Because his business requires moving around properties and gardening nurseries, Brian was running out of options…and time.
The treatment: Brian's primary care physician referred him to Dr. Randolph Sealey, a specialist in foot and ankle reconstruction, as "the only guy I would trust for this case." Considered one of the best foot and ankle surgeons in Connecticut, Dr. Sealey immediately grasped Brian’s condition. Brian’s other options were a local physician who offered a temporary solution and a specialist in California. Not only did Dr. Sealey become Brian’s surgeon, he also become his advocate and repeatedly appealed to Brian’s insurance company to make sure the complicated surgical procedure was covered.
The result: Today, Brian is at work and pain-free. "I’m walking around like a normal person and keeping my business. Mine wasn’t a typical case; Dr. Sealey went above and beyond. He gave me my life back."
Equestrienne Reclaims Ability to Ride Thanks to Lumbar Fusion Surgery
The condition: Heather Malvarosa – a life-long equestrienne, Councilwoman, and nurse for special needs children – began suffering severe pain in her hips at the age of 53. Doctors determined it was due to a decades-old injury, most likely from a fall off a horse when Heather was a teenager. "I would wake up in the morning extremely stiff. Moving around throughout the day became incredibly challenging," the Fishkill, NY, resident recalls.
The treatment: Heather turned to spine specialist, Dr. Frank Ulrich Hermantin. He diagnosed spondylolisthesis – a condition often referred to as spine slip, where a vertebra is out of its normal alignment with the adjacent vertebra. The pain Heather was feeling was her body overcompensating for the arthritis in her spine. Dr. Hermantin performed lumbar fusion surgery. A plate, two screws, and a cage were inserted into her lower spine area to stabilize her vertebra. "The goal of lumbar fusion surgery is to relieve pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness; restore nerve function; and stop or prevent abnormal motion in the spine," said Dr. Hermantin. "We strive to bring patients back to an appropriate level of activity."
The result: A day after the procedure, Heather was walking and she left Danbury Hospital two days later, completely pain free. "I was really nervous," recalls Heather. "I’ve always been so active; the thought of having spine fusion surgery seemed really intimidating, but it was well worth the drive from Fishkill to Danbury to see Dr. Hermantin. I have my mobility back and the chance to ride again. I received the best care possible – I consider this a miracle and am so grateful to Dr. Hermantin."
Recovery Renews Teen Athlete’s Championship Potential
The condition: An energetic and enthusiastic 13 year old, Kristen Pitts, injured her knee playing basketball in a premier travel league, tearing her ACL and meniscus at the same time. Facing this injury as a young, promising athlete was crushing for the girl and her family. The location of the meniscal tear was in a difficult location of the knee, diminishing her hopes for a full recovery.
The treatment: Erik Pitts, Kristen’s father, had heard about the work Dr. Brand was doing with injury prevention and his expertise in the treatment of ACL injuries in female athletes. Upon evaluation, Dr. Brand confirmed Kristen’s need for surgery with a goal of returning to normal daily function and participation in her most loved sports. Dr. Brand performed ACL reconstructive surgery and a lateral meniscus repair in. March.
The result: In six months time, Kristen returned to full activity and was back to a full schedule of athletic activity, becoming a track star and winning multiple awards. She won championship titles in her District Cross Country Meet, in the Junior Olympic XC Nationals, became a record holder and District Champion in the 1600 and 2400 yard races, and was selected as the Point Guard for her winter basketball team. Pitts’ remarkable recovery has allowed her to continue to be the athlete she wanted to be, and given her the confidence to continue challenging herself in school and on the field. “It was a tough experience and I could not have asked for a better doctor. My knee has held up (no pain or swelling!) through everything I have done. Dr. Brand, I truly appreciate all that you did for me!”
Disclaimer: Any prior results discussed in this site do not guarantee a similar outcome.