Kathleen Miller of Hiller, PA, discovered firsthand how the community benefits from expert physicians and surgeons on the staff at Monongahela Valley Hospital. In September, Kathleen was one of the first people to have total ankle replacement surgery outside of Pittsburgh in Southwestern PA — and the first person to have this surgery at Monongahela Valley Hospital.
William T. DeCarbo, D.P.M., who practices with The Orthopedic Group and treats all aspects of the foot and ankle with special interest in advanced reconstructive surgery, performed the 90-minute operation. He is one of only a handful of surgeons trained in Western Pennsylvania who perform total ankle replacement surgery.
Kathleen, who is a state parole agent, had no reservations about being the first person to have a total ankle replacement at Monongahela Valley Hospital.
“I had been looking into ankle surgery for sometime,” she said. “I went to other doctors for their opinions about what would be best for my ankle before I went to The Orthopedic Group and met Dr. DeCarbo. He made me feel like he was treating me as a whole person — I was not just another ankle.”
Kathleen returned to Dr. DeCarbo’s office in the Spartan Medical Facility, in Carroll Twp., 10 days following her surgery. At that time, her foot was placed in a non-weight bearing cast. As her healing progresses, she will eventually be transitioned to a boot walker then physical therapy. The entire recovery process is expected to be three or four months.
Dr. DeCarbo identifies the ideal candidate for total ankle replacement as a person who has end stage osteoarthritis of the ankle, usually posttraumatic arthritis and is not overweight. Most people who seek this surgery are middle-aged and lead more sedentary lifestyles.
Dr. DeCarbo has offices throughout the Mon Valley and the South Hills, including Belle Vernon, Canonsburg, Charleroi, Monongahela, Mt. Lebanon and Uniontown.