July 20, 2023

Stories That Move Us: Stephen Denney

From Indianapolis, Indiana

Enjoys hiking, playing golf, playing and listening to music and traveling

Provider/Treatment: Dr. Adam Lyon, flatfoot reconstruction

Stephen had several issues with his feet throughout his life, but primarily suffered from flat feet, causing pain in his arches, heels and ankles. After an injury to his right ankle approximately forty years ago, Stephen sought orthopedic care, but the provider he went to was unable to diagnose his injury as anything other than a severe ankle sprain. For the next several decades, Stephen says life went on with pain he could manage conservatively until after retirement when he started his seasonal job at Victory Field. The job required him to stand and walk on concrete for long periods of time, which started to cause even more discomfort in his feet and ankles.

Living in Indianapolis, Stephen scheduled an appointment at a local orthopedic practice where he first met Dr. Adam Lyon in 2019. Given the symptoms Stephen experienced over several years, Dr. Lyon recommended a right flatfoot reconstruction that would restore alignment, stabilize and improve function in Stephen’s foot/ankle. “Since I had such positive results with that surgery, I wanted to return to Dr. Lyon when I starting having similar issues with my left foot/ankle in 2021, but discovered he was no longer with that same orthopedic practice. In fact, they no longer had an ankle specialist available,” Stephen said.

Instead, Stephen was referred to a Sports Medicine specialist, who in turn sent him to a surgeon. The surgeon suggested Stephen have a brace made in lieu of a surgical procedure, but when Stephen discovered the brace was to be used permanently, he decided to seek out Dr. Lyon once again, which brought him to Central Indiana Orthopedics where Dr. Lyon now practices. “I had already been through therapy, activity modifications and temporarily wore an ankle brace with little success,” Stephen said. “If possible, I wanted my ankle repaired, not a temporary fix, and knew it was time to discuss surgery.”

Similar to the procedure performed the year before, Dr. Lyon suggested a flatfoot reconstruction on the left side. After the surgery, Stephen had a feeling that something still wasn’t quite right and consulted Dr. Lyon again. After an assessment and MRI, Dr. Lyon spotted a separate issue with Stephen’s tendon, which unfortunately, required another surgery – this time, a peroneal tendon repair. “After the second surgery, the results were wildly successful,” Stephen shared. “I was told to expect up to a six-month recovery; however, just four months in, I was able to hike eight miles at Great Smokey Mountain National Park. I couldn’t have been happier!”

Stephen says his life has changed significantly after surgeries with Dr. Lyon. He’s no longer afraid to walk on concrete or needs to sit down after long periods of standing. Instead, he’s able to enjoy hiking again and after about a five-year hiatus, he’s returned to the golf course!

If you or someone you know is experiencing foot or ankle pain, Stephen encourages people to not delay seeking treatment, especially if the pain interferes with their quality of life. To schedule an appointment, call 800-622-6575 or learn more at ciocenter.com/services/ankle-foot/.