HealthWatch: Ankle surgery


If you’re an athlete an ankle injury can sideline you- sometimes for good.
In healthwatch, chelly boutott introduces us to one local rugby player who decided surgery was the best way for him to get back in the game.

Eric Osborn wasn’t going to let an ankle injury keep him from the game he loves. 

Eric is back battling it out on the rugby field.  He started playing the game at 15 and is now with the  Green Bay Celtic’s Rugby Team, “For me it’s all about the aggression and the power and its a little bit of an outlet for me too.”

Over the years, the running, cutting and pivoting of rugby took a toll on his right ankle, “Every morning rolling  out of bed it just hurt too much and if I can’t run for five or ten minutes in practice I certainly know i’m not going to be effective in a game,” explained Eric Osborn.

So Eric went to see Dr. Harold Schock, an  orthopedic surgery sports medicine specialist at Aurora BayCare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, “The injury he had was related to the ankle joint and he had an episode where his ligament tore on him which made his ankle unstable and with an unstable ankle with addition to the ligament tear he also had injury to the cartilage,” explained  Dr. Harold Schock, orthopedic surgery sports medicine specialist, Aurora BayCare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine.

Eric chose to try therapy and rehabilitation first, “Anytime you see an athlete who is motivated that wants to try and get back into sports if you can get them there without surgery that is the best way to go,” said Dr. Schock.

But it didn’t heal as well as Eric had hoped, “But over the course of a number of months I realized this isn’t working,” said Eric.

So Dr. Schock said Eric had two choices give up the sport he loved or surgery, “We can do a surgical procedure to stabilize the ligaments in the ankle, improve the cartilage injury you have,” said Dr. Schock.

In January, Eric chose – surgery, “The ankle bone he’d torn the ligaments off so we did a procedure to repair those ligaments back to the ankle bone and we also did a procedure, he had a cartilage injury on a bone called the talus and we did a procedure to restore the cartilage to that area,” said Dr. Schock.

Six weeks after surgery Eric started rehab.  He worked hard with specialty trainers and physical therapists, “We really use a team approach in getting any athlete back to the sport they want to get to,” said Dr. Schock.

Eric was back at practice in July, “But throughout the course of a lot of work and a lot of hard work and listening to my trainer, listening to the physical therapist and my doctor we got back at it,” said Eric. 

 And he was back on the rugby field in time for his first game in August, “I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t walk, I was on crutches and now 6-7 months later I’m on a rugby field ready to play a combative sport again hugely important to myself,” Eric said happily.

Dr. Schock says Eric’s has done quite well and he has had a  remarkable recovery.

To learn more you can call AuroraBayCare at 866-938-0035 or email 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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