More than 30 years ago, James Leonard broke his foot in eight places when
he fell off of a roof. His foot has never been the same since.
With increasing pain from the injury that failed to heal correctly, James
finally decided last year it was time to stop suffering. A former Marine,
the 58-year-old started what can be a long process with
Veterans Affairs to fix the problem. Through the
VA Choice One program, James received approval to see Powder River Orthopedics & Spine (PROS) surgeon
Dr. Robert Grunfeld.
Specializing in foot and ankle procedures, Dr. Grunfeld wasted no time
assessing the injury and providing some relief to James with an injection.
Unfortunately, just a few months later, James was back in Dr. Grunfeld’s
office looking for pain relief. A construction worker who is frequently
on his feet, James didn’t want to have a lot of down time. Dr. Grunfeld’s
first recommendation of breaking his foot and fixing the heart of the
problem would have left James non-weight bearing for six to eight weeks.
James was reluctant to go that route so Dr. Grunfeld came up with another option.
“He was worried about being able to work,” Dr. Grunfeld said.
“This is a prime example of needing to customize his treatment options
for the patient’s needs.”
James opted for an ankle arthroscopy or a basic scope that allowed Dr.
Grunfeld to clean up scar tissue and arthritis and shave off bone spurs
and bone fragments from his previous surgery. On February 22, James underwent
the surgery on his left ankle that would mean little downtime compared
to the more invasive surgery.
“You want to do as little as possible while maximizing gain,”
Dr. Grunfeld said. “He’s back to his job. He works on his
feet in construction.”
James says he’s more than pleased with the outcome.
“He’s a man of his word,” James said. “He told
me straight what was wrong and there was no beating around the bush about
it. There was no candy coating.”
It was a refreshing experience for James whose years in the military and
construction trades have left him an appreciation for direct communication.
And he also says he appreciates the fact that he’s had little downtime
and virtually no pain since the surgery.
“He’s the best doctor I’ve ever had,” James said.
“He was very upfront and explained it very well in layman’s
James is so pleased with his experience, that he’s already referring
other people he knows to Dr. Grunfeld.
“I’ve already referred two people to him,” James said.
“I’ll keep referring as many people to him as I can. He’s
a no mess around man.”
His praise doesn’t end with Dr. Grunfeld, James is quick to credit
the entire staff for being so helpful, especially in dealing with the
“That whole staff is truly wonderful,” James said.
On the road to recovery, James is doing some
physical therapy and is thankful to not be suffering with such debilitating pain every day.
“Where he did surgery I have no more pain,” James said. “It
gets better every day.”
Expert Orthopedic & Spine Care in Gillette, Wyoming
Dr. Robert Grunfeld is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at
Powder River Orthopedics & Spine in Gillette, Wyoming. The physicians at PROS take an innovative and comprehensive
approach to the treatment of acute and chronic orthopedic pain. Have your
procedure in our modern
operating rooms at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or
Powder River Surgery Center.
See the PROS for:
- General orthopedic surgery
- Joint replacement surgery: shoulder, hip, knee and ankle
- Shoulder, elbow, hand and wrist surgery
- Sports Medicine
- Spine surgery and injections, including minimally invasive procedures
- Bunions and great toe arthritis procedures
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Trauma and fracture care
- Workplace injuries
For a consultation, call 307.686.1413 or visit
PROS is a Campbell County Medical Group Clinic with
Campbell County Health.
Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer