Hope Restored After Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery

A Complex Foot and Ankle Surgery Puts the Pieces back Together

By Larissa Biggers
October 14, 2020
Patient walking with wife after ankle surgery

David Long enjoys walk with his wife after ankle surgery at Duke Raleigh Hospital

After suffering a serious fall in his hometown of Pikeville, NC, David Long was told he may never walk again. With shattered bones and damaged cartilage in both feet and legs, he sought help from three different surgeons at two different hospitals. Almost three months after the accident, Long was left with two options: a double amputation or a fusion procedure in both legs, which would significantly affect his mobility.

A Second Opinion

Long had little hope for living an active life, until a family friend recommended he get a second opinion at Duke Health. He met with Karl Schweitzer, MD, a foot and ankle specialist at Duke Raleigh Hospital, who proposed a different treatment -- open reduction and internal fixation surgery in both legs to “put the jigsaw pieces back together again.” The surgery was scheduled for the same week. “We gave him hope, which is something no one else was able to do for him.”

Steps Toward Recovery

Just five months after the procedure, Long was able to take walks with his wife, Carol, and today he is back to enjoying the activities he loves. She is delighted with the care he received at Duke Health. “Every day you could see an improvement. I don’t know what we would have done without Duke Raleigh.”