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Mary & Alan - How Foot & Ankle Surgery Saved Their Trip to Europe

Alan and Mary love to travel and had a trip to Europe booked. When Alan broke his ankle and Mary had heel pain, they both needed a surgeon who could get them back on their feet in time from their trip.

Alan and Mary live on a farm and remain active inside and outside. Alan works on the farm, walking outside and getting into and out of farm machinery. Mary volunteers in the community. Together they have traveled extensively.

"We love to travel," says Mary, "and when we do, we usually do active kinds of things."

The couple had booked their latest trip to Europe for the summer of 2022 and were looking forward to traveling with their daughter and granddaughter.

Then Alan broke his ankle while working outside on New Year's Day.

Alan's Broken Ankle

"[I had] walked the same place for two weeks, I hadn't paid attention," says Alan. "But there was a little more right foot slipped and my left one didn't." He said he knew right away something had broken.

After having his foot set in a temporary cast, Alan was sent to Christy Christophersen, MD, McFarland Clinic Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon. He and Mary liked her right away.

"She's very personable, very conversational," says Mary. "She explains things in terms that we can understand, and she seems to care about us."

Alan agreed, saying, "She made it joyful and like we've been friends forever. That helped reduce the stress factor."

Alan was happy with how his surgery and recovery went, saying that he has had no problems with his foot since.

Mary's Heel Pain

It turned out Alan was not the only person with foot and ankle problems. Mary had been having heel pain for months.

"[It] was painful, especially going down stairs," Mary says.

During one of Alan's visits, she mentioned it to Dr. Christophersen. The McFarland surgeon's response was immediate and positive.

"She said, well she can take care of that!" says Mary.

Mary and Alan's trip to Europe was only a few months away at this point, and she worried about the recovery time for surgery on her heel and whether she would be able to walk around during the trip.

"[We] really didn't want to forego that because of his ankle or because of my heel."

Mary decided to go through with the surgery on her heel. Three months later, she and Alan were walking through Germany and Italy.

"Happily, with a good surgeon," Mary says, "we had a wonderful time."

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