Published on December 27, 2017

Ankle Replacement Improves Quality of Life

TUPELO, Miss.—After more than 20 years of ankle pain caused by a car accident, Tina Dandridge of Tupelo reached out for help from Nels Thorderson, M.D., a foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon at North Mississippi Medical Center.

Dandridge, who works in admissions at NMMC, says her ankle was crushed in a car accident about 23 years ago and re-built.

“Then for about five years it started to really bother me. It hurt to walk and swelled pretty badly,” she said. “Finally one day at work my ankle completely gave out and I went to the Emergency Department.”

X-rays showed bone fragments floating, and she was referred to Dr. Thorderson.

“We talked about several options, but the one that would be the best fix for me was a total ankle replacement,” she said.

After surgery, she says she was “down” for about four months while she went to outpatient rehabilitation to strengthen and increase the range of motion of her new ankle. She came back to work with a post-operative boot but soon she didn’t need it.

“I still keep my boot at my desk, but I say it’s just for looks because I never need it anymore,” she said. “I have a little arthritis and it aches every now and then, but it doesn’t keep me from working or doing the things I want to do.”

Dandridge has six children and five grandchildren, whom she spends her spare time spoiling.

“We go to Chuck E. Cheese’s, play in the yard and go to the arcade,” she said. “The best part is now I can go and walk through the mall with them and not dread it because of the pain.”

Dr. Thorderson is part of a new customer awareness campaign from the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society.

“Customers don’t generally give much thought to their foot health – that is, until something goes wrong,” Dr. Thorderson said. “But 75 percent of all people experience foot pain at some point in their lives. That’s why it’s imperative to educate consumers, so that they know how to find the best medical care before a problem arises.”

The campaign – called “Look for the ‘O’” – stresses the importance of choosing a specialized foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon when a person has foot pain or concerns. It promotes the fact that orthopedic surgeons have the expertise to help consumers keep their feet healthy and pain-free.

“Foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons don’t just operate, but provide surgical and nonsurgical treatments for everything related to foot and ankle health,” Dr. Thorderson said.

For more information on foot and ankle conditions, treatments and surgeons, visit

Dr. Thorderson is a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon at North Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Clinic. For more information or to make an appointment, call (662) 840-5747 or visit

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