LEAF RIVER – Linda Norman knew there was a problem.
A registered nurse at SwedishAmerican for nearly 43 years, the pain in her right ankle had become so bad that walking was becoming difficult – not good for a nurse used to being on her feet.
“By that time, I was kind of walking on the side of my foot,” she said.
So she went to see Dr. Corcoran, thinking she might need an orthotic. Instead, he talked with her about an ankle replacement.
“I'd never heard of ankle replacement,” she said.
Many haven't heard of the procedure, which Corcoran said has become more common over the last decade or so.
Of course, feet are often not the focus of concern for many, until they become a problem. April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, and according to SwedishAmerican, most Americans log 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach the age of 50.
Before surgery, Norman had a detailed scan done of her ankle, and a new one was constructed specifically for her. That process took about a month. After surgery, she was off of work for about three months to heal and rehab her ankle.
Her surgery took place on Sept 13, 2016 and Norman, who has lived in Leaf River for 30 years, said she feels great.
“I work full-time, 12-hour days,” she said. “I can walk my dog again.”
The grandmother of five, who is a native of Forreston, said she is looking forward to taking the grandkids to the beach this summer. In the past, it hurt too much to walk.
She is also glad she could get the surgery locally, in Rockford. Corcoran is the only surgeon in the area who does ankle replacement surgery.
Norman advised people to pay attention to their feet. She said as a nurse she ignores aches and pains, but that might not be the best course of action.
“People should pay attention,” she said. “If it's persistent and it doesn't go away, they need to see a doctor.”
She said the ankle replacement was “totally worth doing,” and after having the ankle and both hips replaced, at work they now refer to her a the “bionic” nurse.
“I'm good for another 10,000 miles at least,” she said with a laugh.