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Orthopaedic Patient Nellie Kirk

Patient Nellie Kirk
Nellie Kirk: “Now I can walk without pain thanks to ankle replacement surgery.”

Nellie Kirk, 60, loved to walk. Unfortunately, a fall down her stairs more than 20 years ago made walking extremely painful.

The accident was so bad that bone was exposed. The injury required plates and screws, and a week in the hospital.

“For years I battled with that ankle – the pain, the stiffness and the arthritis,” Nellie said. “When I got up in the mornings, I could not walk. I had injections, muscle relaxers and therapy but the pain kept getting worse.” 

Finally, Nellie was referred to Dr. Aaron Scott, an orthopaedic surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 

Orthopaedic Ankle Replacement Surgery Is Unique And Not For Everyone

Nellie had orthopaedic ankle replacement surgery, a procedure that requires special care and recovery. 

Dr. Aaron ScottDr. Scott is one of the few orthopaedic surgeons in North Carolina performing total ankle replacements. This procedure is less common than other joint replacement surgeries: Although the components for these orthopaedic procedures are similar, ankle replacement surgery is unique and only for certain people. 

Ideal patients are non-smokers and non-diabetics who are older than 50 years of age and weigh less than 200 pounds. Ankle replacements are not for highly active, athletic individuals or people who have a great deal of deformity.

Nellie’s Recovery Took About One Year, But It Was Worth It 


Nellie Kirk at the top of Grandfather Mountain in western N.C.
Nellie Kirk at the top of
Grandfather Mountain in
western North Carolina.

 Nellie got out of the hospital on a Monday. “That following Saturday night I went to a gospel singing program in a wheelchair. I just propped my foot up and enjoyed it all,” she said.


“Dr. Scott was very up front with everything,” Nellie said. “He told me it would be a long recovery. I could not put any pressure on that foot and ankle for six weeks, and full recovery could take about one year.”  

Nellie went from casts to a boot to her tennis shoes and eventually back to her dress heels. 

“It took a long time to heal, but it was worth it,” Nellie said. “I walk when the weather is pretty. I even walk on the beach. No one can believe I had an ankle replacement. And by the way, I just came home from church in my dress shoes.”

If you’re interested in getting a consultation about your own particular orthopaedic needs, schedule an appointment online today.

Quick Reference

Orthopaedic Services

New Patients 336-716-WAKE
Toll-Free 888-716-WAKE
Returning Patients
Returning Pediatric Patients

Contact the Department

Main 336-716-8200
Fax 336-716-8018

For assistance after hours, please call 336-716-2011 and ask for the Orthopaedic Surgeon on call.
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Hip Arthroscopy Patient Costen Irons

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Read about Costen Irons – a young, athletic man who suffered from hip pain and recovered with the help of hip arthroscopy from Wake Forest Baptist Health.

Last Updated: 04-11-2016
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