Same-day discharge for ankle-op patient

A Scalby woman got a new ankle in less time than some people wait to be seen in A&E.

Angela Crowther was in hospital for less than 12 hours (to order photos ring 353597)

Angela Crowther was in hospital for less than 12 hours (to order photos ring 353597)

Angela Crowther has become the first patient in the local NHS trust - and probably the whole of Yorkshire - to get a new ankle and be discharged on the same day.

On the day of her operation, Angela was admitted at 7.30am and discharged less than 12 hours later, at 6pm.

It is the first time in the trust’s history that a patient has been discharged on the same day as having an ankle-replacement operation.

Until now, recipients of new hip and knee joints have been routinely treated as day-patients. Ankle replacements are becoming more common as medical technology advances. About 1,300 ankles have now been replaced by the NHS in the UK.

“Ankles are more intricate than knees and hips”, says Angela, who was on a waiting list for six and a half months. “They take twice as long”. Nevertheless, her operation was completed in under two hours, by orthopaedic surgeon Adnan Faraj.

Angela, who had already had her right hip replaced, woke up on Kent ward at Bridlington Hospital with a knee-to-toe cast protecting her new joint.

Several factors played a part in her quick discharge. Her blood pressure was ok and she could move about on a walking frame and Rolator. Critically, she had somebody at home who could look after her - her husband David. The couple live in a bungalow in Ridge Gardens.

Angela was told not to stand on her new ankle for six weeks. Three weeks later, the cast was removed and replaced with a surgical boot, allowing physiotherapy to begin.

Angela’s trouble with her ankle began when she fell and broke it, 10 years ago. Osteoarthritis set in and the joint gradually became more and more painful.

Angela, who will be 74 on 27 June, praised the treatment she had. “All the staff were very kind and reassuring. The anaesthetist made a lot of fun and asked me what kind of music would I like on the headphones during the operation. I said, ‘How about Frank Sinatra?’ and I heard five lovely serenades”.