Walking is Easy Again

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Dorothy Chaney of Milwaukee thought her excruciating foot pain was something she would just have to live with. “I felt like I was walking on rocks,” she said. “I couldn’t even get from my car into the grocery store.”

In addition to her foot pain, Dorothy developed painful sores around her toenails. Not only was her podiatrist unable to alleviate her pain, he recommended amputating one of her toes due to the open sores that refused to heal. Dorothy’s son thought a second opinion was needed and scheduled an appointment for her with the medical director of Columbia St. Mary’s Vascular Institute.

Prior to her appointment, the medical director ordered a number of tests so that he would be better able to diagnose Dorothy’s condition. “All of the people at Columbia St. Mary’s were wonderful. They made sure my doctor would be able to tell me what was wrong,” she said.

What was wrong with Dorothy was the blood flow to her feet. Due to peripheral vascular disease, which blocks the arteries in the legs, not enough blood was reaching Dorothy’s feet and toes. This was the cause of her pain and hard-to-heal wounds. Instead of amputation, her doctor recommended a stenting procedure to restore blood flow throughout her feet and legs. Similar to cardiac angioplasty, her doctor placed stents in the arteries of Dorothy’s legs that had been blocked by atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arterial walls due to excess plaque.

Because Dorothy had peripheral vascular disease in both of her legs, two separate stenting procedures were needed – one for each leg. While the recovery from her second procedure took a little longer than the first, Dorothy has no regrets. “Lori Nelson (nurse practitioner) kept telling me to hang in there and she was right, I’m great now.”

Prior to her treatment with her doctor, Dorothy was forced to walk with the aid of canes and walkers. Now, the 66-year-old is able to walk unassisted and feels so good she says she might get a job! In addition, her pain is gone and the tissue around her toes is once again healthy. “I just love all of them at this office,” Dorothy said. “You can’t imagine the relief they’ve given me.”

 

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