Marlene was out for her nightly power walk in October of 2018 when a misstep and fall resulted in multiple fractures. “It happened so quickly,” Marlene recalls. “I was shocked; the pain was excruciating. I’ve never experienced that type of pain in my life.”
With no phone in hand, Marlene hoped her husband would soon realize her walk was taking longer than usual. Luckily, three young men passed by and helped Marlene. They were careful of her arm and leg as they lifted her. Once home, her husband called 911 and she was rushed to the hospital.
X-rays determined that Marlene had sustained a radius and hip fracture. Due to the level of pain Marlene was in, she was put on pain reliever to help make her more comfortable. During this time her husband worked with the hospital staff on how to proceed. Being a former patient of IBJI, Marlene’s husband advocated for an IBJI physician to perform her surgery. The hospital staff recommended the use of a trauma surgeon which led them to IBJI’s Dr. Brian Weatherford.
“Dr. Weatherford got us on track. He came right in and said we needed to do the surgery within 48 hours and helped to push the process along,” says Marlene.
Marlene was ready to get the surgery “over with.” She said, “I felt broken. The pain was so excruciating when they lifted me to take x-rays, it was uncomfortable. I just wanted to be fixed and feel better.”
After her successful surgery, Marlene began physical therapy and occupational therapy. Physical and occupational therapy lasted approximately six months. During this time Marlene relied on others to assist her with daily tasks. “I’ve always been active so it was humbling to rely on others. I couldn’t get out of bed without assistance, I couldn’t drive, getting dressed and putting on makeup was difficult,” says Marlene. “At the beginning using a walker was debilitating. As the pain was subsiding, I felt myself getting stronger and that was comforting.”
Marlene’s turning point in her recovery was being able to walk without assistance and regaining the ability to open a water bottle. “Opening a water bottle was a miracle to me. You take little things like that for granted. For my leg, the turning point was being able to walk without my walker and go up the stairs without using assistance.”
Once her therapy sessions concluded, Marlene continued to practice her exercises. Marlene states, “You can’t rely just on going to physical therapy, you have to do it yourself and continue to practice and be motivated.”
A year later and Marlene is feeling fabulous. Not only was Marlene able to power walk a 10K but she also decreased her walking mile time to 17 minutes.
She is grateful for the physician that put her back together. “Dr. Weatherford has the best bedside manner of any doctor I’ve ever been to. I felt broken but he was reassuring by explaining the procedure, utilizing eye contact and empathy during our appointments. He made our appointments feel positive. Even my husband was impressed. Not only did Dr. Weatherford put me back together after being broken but he was empathetic and very understanding. Even the IBJI office staff was super with getting paperwork completed. That was very well done.”
Brian Weatherford, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon with fellowship training in both foot and ankle and trauma surgery. He is dedicated to the treatment of patients with foot and ankle disorders as well traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. His areas of special interest include arthritis of the ankle, post-traumatic conditions of the lower extremity and deformity correction.