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WYOS Orthopedic Surgeon gets patient back on her feet

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  • Written By: Kim Phagan-Hansel
WYOS Orthopedic Surgeon gets patient back on her feet

Thirty-seven-year-old Chandra Leyba has struggled with her right foot for a long time. Her big toe hurt quite a bit, and over time it would lock up and she would have to massage it and manually maneuver the joint to get it unlocked. Over the years it just kept getting worse and worse.

A mom to a young son, Chandra struggled to keep up with his high energy and her frustration with her foot pain continued to grow.

After visiting with her primary care physician, Chandra was referred to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Grunfeld who specializes in treating feet and ankle problems. Chandra ultimately learned that she suffered from a hereditary condition that impacted the way her toes grew: a bunion. A bony bump, bunions grow on the joint at the base of the big toe and can be very painful.

“It’s probably one of the more common issues we see when people have toe pain,” Dr. Grunfeld said.

Surgery to correct the problem can be extensive to remove the bone or even breaking the bone to straighten the angle in the big toe joint. For Chandra, Dr. Grunfeld said he felt like a less invasive procedure to shave off the arthritis and bone growth would the best.

“That way she could basically walk out of the surgery that day,” Dr. Grunfeld said. “She did really well.”

Being honest and upfront with patients is important to Dr. Grunfeld, who says patients benefit from having all the information they need to make an informed decision about their care. And establishing realistic expectations for recovery is especially critical when it comes to addressing issues with the feet.

“Be patient with this,” Dr. Grunfeld said. “You walk on your feet every day so it takes time. It’s a big deal to have surgery and I want people to have a good outcome.”

After having surgery in December and doing some short-term physical therapy, Chandra’s life is in a whole new place.

“It’s better than ever,” Chandra said. “I can wear tennis shoes again. I can keep up better with my son.”

For someone who has had a lot of surgeries, Chandra said she’s never had a doctor quite like Dr. Grunfeld.

“He explained in detail what he was going to do and how he was going to do it,” Chandra said. “He’s an amazing doctor.”

Seeing Chandra’s progress is all the reward Dr. Grunfeld says he needs.

“When people can get back to activities … that’s the biggest win in the world,” Dr. Grunfeld said. “Helping them get their life back – that’s why I do what I do.”

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer

  • Category: Patient Care, Surgery