the crash that changed everything

While on an afternoon motorcycle ride with friends, Achilles had to make a snap decision. When a train gate came down faster than he was ready for, would he have to speed through and try to make it, or hit the brakes? He decided to slam on the brakes and, in the process, took a dive. The motorcycle accident left Achilles with a fractured tibia and fibula.

Achilles underwent surgery on his leg two days after the accident. Doctors placed eleven screws and rods into his tibia, repairing the fractures, but after the surgery, Achilles was left with immeasurable pain.

“It kept getting worse and worse,” Achilles explained. “Nothing was helping.”

when the pain takes over

Not even an abundance of pain medication made a difference. Achilles remembers being prescribed 300 pills at once. And these weren’t just any pills—they were narcotics—and he was told to take them as he needed for the pain. Which he did. But Achilles’ family began to notice a change in his behavior. He was in pain, he was over-medicating—he was in trouble.

“The pain was insufferable,” Achilles explained. “It had taken over my life and I wasn’t able to engage with my family or enjoy much of anything.”

Achilles tried to stop taking his pills cold turkey and ended up in the emergency room from withdrawal symptoms.

a better approach

Instead of trying to figure out what was causing Achilles’ pain, most of the treatment options he was given focused on pain management through medication. No one stopped to ask what was causing the pain, or to consider a different approach, until Achilles met Dr. Rodriguez.

In his very first appointment, Dr. Rodriguez really listened to Achilles and was able to determine the cause of the pain right away. Achilles had a nerve injury that had resulted either from the trauma of the motorcycle accident, or the surgery to repair his broken ankle. A neuroma, which is a tangle of broken or damaged nerve fibers mixed with significant scar tissue, had developed in his tibial nerve—the nerve that runs on the inside of the leg into the bottom of the foot. This nerve was the culprit for the pain Achilles was experiencing.

one procedure, a lifetime of relief

Dr. Rodriguez told Achilles that surgical nerve repair was an option. During surgery, Dr. Rodriguez removed the neuroma from Achilles’ leg, and the resulting nerve gap was repaired with Avance® Nerve Graft and Axoguard Nerve Protector®.

“It worked,” Achilles said. “He changed my life.”

Today, the pain and tingling Achilles dealt with for so long is gone. He’s a dad who can crawl, run and play with his young son. He is happy. He is back to being himself again.

 

could surgical nerve repair help you?

If you’re facing chronic pain after a traumatic injury or a surgical procedure, answer these questions to determine if you’re a candidate, and get connected to a surgeon who may be able to help.

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