At 72-years-old, Shari Pinney was not planning on running any marathons.
However, she did plan on playing with her 10 grandkids, working as a pediatric nurse at Mercy Health Children’s Hospital, and taking her dog for walks.
Unfortunately, those plans were interrupted due to severe arthritis pain in her ankle. After suffering for years, Shari finally decided it was time to talk to her doctor about addressing the issue and her options with ankle replacement surgery.
“I have a high pain tolerance, but the pain was making it difficult to do my job,” says Shari. “Going up and down stairs was almost impossible, and it was really beginning to affect my quality of life.”
When it came time to find an orthopedic surgeon, Shari didn’t question where she would look. Her primary care physician gave her options, but she was adamant she would stay with the Mercy Health team for all healthcare needs.
“I have been going to Mercy Health since the day I was born,” says Shari.
“I have worked at Mercy since I was 19-years-old and my family has always gone there for healthcare. The physicians are top-notch, so why would I go anywhere else?”
In September, Shari had her first appointment with Dr. Clayton Carmody. She remembers he was “very tall” but, more importantly, he took time to answer all questions regarding her ankle pain. At times when Shari didn’t understand his answers, Dr. Carmody took even more time to further explain.
After their discussion, Shari didn’t hesitate to schedule her ankle replacement surgery. It would give her more functionality and mobility than any other option. Getting back to an independent and active lifestyle was her top priority.
When the day of her ankle replacement surgery came, Shari was ready. With all of her questions answered, she was prepared and had realistic expectations about recovery.
“I spent one day in the hospital after surgery, and the nurses were all very kind,” recalls Shari. “They were focused on patient care and ensured my pain was under control.”
Under the watchful care of her physical therapists, Shari left the hospital in a cast. She eventually traded the cast in for a boot before finally upgrading to a cane. Three months after her surgery, Shari was finally enjoying life free from arthritic pain.
“I have normal muscle pain from muscles I haven’t used in a while,” she says. “I can do all kinds of things that I couldn’t before.”
Shari does not celebrate her success alone. She is grateful for the physical therapy team who always went the extra mile to encourage her and address any discomfort immediately. She also appreciates Dr. Carmody who was personally invested in her successful recovery.
“The day they took my cast off, he grinned from ear to ear,” says Shari. He was excited with every step that brought her back to full mobility again.
While Shari decided to retire after more than five decades as a pediatric nurse, she has been making plans after recovering from her surgery. Shari is now busy visiting with her grandchildren and taking her dog out for pain-free walks.
Learn more about orthopedic and sports medicine services at Mercy Health.