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Bethany's Story

Ultrarunner and mountain biker who experienced multiple ankle sprains before securing her repair with the InternalBrace procedure and getting back on the trails.

This real patient was compensated for the time they took to share their personal experience with the InternalBrace procedure.

Bethany M loves everything that has to do with being outdoors and staying active but says endurance running is her “jam.” An ultramarathon runner, on any given weekend you might find her competing in a 100-mile trail race or cross training on her mountain bike. She was living her best life in Steamboat Springs, CO, and at her peak fitness level when her life course was derailed during a 10-mile run in the mountains.

“It was just a normal, leisurely run. Suddenly, my left ankle folded under me.” She heard a “pop” and thought she had broken her ankle. With dusk approaching and no cell service, she knew she needed to make it back to the trailhead, so she made the decision to run the 5 miles back despite her sore ankle. Bethany says this was a “big mistake. Ever since that, I really struggled to fully come back.”

Bethany met with an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed her with a severe ankle sprain. He initially treated her conservatively with physical therapy and bracing and asked that she decrease her weekly mileage until her ankle pain subsided.

That initial injury eventually healed, but it didn’t stay that way, Bethany said. “I kept reinjuring it randomly… I used to joke how it was my noodle ankle because it was just floppy and affected everything, especially running, because I just didn’t have trust in it.”

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Bethany was demoralized. “You know your training and you think you're building up slowly, and then you sprain it and then you have to start back over. It gets to a point where I can't really enjoy what I'm doing because my head is so fixated on is it going to fold? I'm fearing the fold and wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. And I would replay the injury in my head.”

After about 3 years of various treatments, it was clear that she was suffering from chronic ankle instability and needed another option.

Bethany’s ankle surgeon spoke to her about the InternalBrace ligament augmentation procedure for acute and chronic ankle sprains. A supplement to an existing ankle repair procedure, the InternalBrace system provides additional soft tissue-to-bone fixation that supports the primary repair.

He explained how the InternalBrace system is helpful in very active people because with the added stability during the healing phase, you can mobilize the joint earlier and you will not spend 6 weeks in a cast. The added confidence the extra protection instills allows many athletes to accelerate their post-surgery recovery to get back to doing what they love sooner.

Bethany said it was the option she needed. “I wanted surgery, recovery, and to be done.” Two weeks after having her surgery in June 2017, Bethany climbed the Manitou Incline, a 2,744-step trail that gains 2,000 feet in elevation from start to finish, on crutches. Two months later, she was back to hiking and then running at 3 months postoperatively.

Today, Bethany is living in New Hampshire and training for her next 100-mile trail run. She says she has been able to help friends who have had struggles with their own ankles.

“Surgery can be scary,” Bethany says, but she wants people to know they can avoid the frustration and get back on their feet faster with the InternalBrace procedure. “I’ve had two friends in the last month do the same procedure and they’re recovering beautifully.”

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