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After months of managing pain in her left ankle, Lavel Price, a Hartsville resident and avid bowler, knew it was time to seek more permanent treatment.
Lavel noticed a gradually increasing pain in her left ankle about two years ago. She underwent three months of physical therapy at a local medical facility, along with the support of an orthopedic walking boot, but the pain kept getting worse.
As an assistant manager of the Southgate Bowling Center in Florence and operator of its Southgate Grill, Lavel experienced painful sensations in her ankle that made it challenging for her to work, stand for long periods of time, and bowl.
Lavel was then referred to Dr. Jason O’Dell, an orthopedic surgeon with McLeod Orthopaedics who specializes in foot and ankle conditions. “The Achilles tendon can tear, rupture, or degenerate. Achilles tendon degeneration, also known as tendinitis, occurs from repeated stress or overuse of the tendon,” explained Dr. O’Dell.
“Lavel’s X-rays and MRI clearly showed degeneration of her Achilles tendon. With her current treatments not working effectively, I knew it was time to consider surgery.”
“Based on my results, Dr. O’Dell explained that my pain would continue to worsen. He recommended the Achilles reconstruction surgery,” Lavel recalls. “I was ready to do whatever it took to get my life back.”
Before her ankle began giving her trouble, Lavel enjoyed traveling. “I would go to my grandson’s baseball games in Georgia and travel with my bowling league. Once I started having ankle issues, traveling became difficult, and I had to stop bowling.” In addition, because Lavel’s job required prolonged periods of standing, she eventually had to cut her days back due to the pain.
The largest tendon in the human body, the Achilles tendon helps individuals walk, run, and jump.
Often a minimally-invasive procedure, Achilles reconstruction surgery involves several small incisions instead of one large incision. During Lavel’s procedure, Dr. O’Dell removed the damaged part of her Achilles tendon and reinforced it with some of the tendon from her big toe.
“I could not have asked for anything better than the treatment I received at McLeod. From day one, everyone I encountered -- the staff both at the hospital and at the doctor’s office -- were wonderful, and Dr. O’Dell was the absolute best,” remarks Lavel.
“I was in a lot of pain before the surgery, and he made me comfortable again.”
Lavel’s recovery went smoothly as well. “I really only noticed pain the first two days. I completed my physical therapy at McLeod Medical Park Hartsville three days a week and was back to my old self in no time.”
Word of Lavel’s surgery spread quickly in the bowling community. “Someone else at Southgate had the same surgery as me one month after I did, so I shared my experiences with her. She saw how well I recovered, and I helped her understand what to expect and how to manage her recovery. I told her that you can ask any question and Dr. O’Dell will be there for you.”
Lavel recommends anyone experiencing similar pain and limitations from their ankle to consider seeing an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon.
“McLeod took wonderful care of me. This surgery gave me my life back -- I am bowling again and doing what I love,” added Lavel.