The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Podiatry Care Leads to Happy Ending: Foot Surgery Helps Bride Walk Down the Aisle

Posted by on Thursday, March 13th, 2014


In modern podiatry, foot surgery is considered a last resort treatment. We generally refer patients to rest, icing, compression, elevation, exercise, and other non-invasive interventions before turning to serious procedures. Perhaps a cortisone injection or low-grade shock waves can relieve acute pain. For arthritis sufferers, there are many alternatives to surgery, but one bride from the UK found that a surgical procedure was just what she needed to lead a normal life and fulfill her dream of walking down the aisle on her wedding day.

ny foot surgery
Foot surgery is a last resort treatment, due to the lengthy and often difficult recovery, as well as the potential for complications.
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First Line Treatments For Arthritis

As we mentioned in a previous article, there are many options for treating arthritis in the feet and ankles. Supplements and anti-inflammatory medication can help mild pain and swelling. Corticosteroid injections can provide three to six month relief of acute pain. Platelet rich plasma injections can stimulate natural healing. Yet, these treatments are recommended for patients who suffer arthritis related to wear-and-tear degeneration or overuse injuries. Some patients who have suffered serious trauma may have little to no reprieve from conventional therapies.

osteoarthritis development
Osteoarthritis can cause debilitating pain and cripple a person.
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Trauma Requires More Aggressive Treatment

Thirty-one-year-old Jules Wakeham developed osteoarthritis after suffering two falls resulting in numerous broken bones. Faulty healing of her bones left her unable to walk barefoot, hold her fiance’s hand, or walk without insoles and crutches. She admitted that osteoarthritis is something that runs in her family, so its development was not really a surprise.  

In 2008, she dislocated her left knee while walking down stairs in a textile mill. A few weeks later, her foot began to draw up from the floor. Physical therapy did nothing to help her, so she decided on four operations over the next three months. Surgeons removed a bone from her foot and inserted a metal plate, but she walked on her tiptoe with a limp, and one leg remained longer than the other. 

She tried to work and move around on crutches, but she took another fall the following year while on a business trip in Portugal. She snapped her radius and ulna arm bones, which required pins and plaster. When the bones failed to heal, she had wrist fusion surgery back home in the UK to correct the deformity. Another foot and ankle surgery was needed to fix her gait.

“[Surgery] was the only option left for me,” she told The Daily Mail. Although it was a bit daunting to begin with, I’m making the most of what I’ve got. My ankle and foot are completely solid up to the base of my toes but I should eventually be able to walk with a reasonable gait and posture. I already feel far better balanced.”

Ms. Wakeham adds that she can now finally marry her long-term love, whom she has been planning to wed for seven years. She says that her medical problems had gotten in the way of marrying sooner, so she is happy that she is in a place to finally begin moving forward with wedding arrangements. She plans to have a long dress so she can wear comfortable trainers, but the fact that she will be walking — not limping — down the aisle is truly wonderful.

“Opting to permanently lose the movement in your joints to ease your pain, imbalance and loss of control is a very big, final option. But I hope it will eventually give me the chance to get some independence back,” she said.

bride with cast
A foot injury should not get in the way of your dreams.
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Foot and Ankle Surgery in New York

People who have been debating foot and ankle surgery in New York are invited for a consultation with the area’s best board-certified podiatric surgeons. We are ready to work with you in devising the best plan to address your particular situation and get you back on both feet. We will carefully explore all options with you, as well as go over the best recovery strategies for after your procedure. Contact us here!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.