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Patient Finds Pain Relief for Foot Pain

  • Author: James Leonard
  • Date Submitted: Nov 14, 2019

“Where he did surgery I have no more pain. It gets better every day.”

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 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 downtimes. 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 orthopedic 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 terms.”

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 VA paperwork.

“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.”

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, a Wyoming freelance writer