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Olivia Bernard

Leverett, MA
  • Olivia Bernard in the photo 1
  • Olivia Bernard in the photo 2
  • Olivia Bernard in the photo 3
  • Olivia Bernard in the photo 4
  • Olivia Bernard in the photo 5

I have had serious systemic arthritis for many years, which has resulted in many orthopedic surgeries, in particular ankle surgeries. Prior to each ankle surgery, I had pain in the afflicted ankle so debilitating that I could not take walks, at times could barely manage walking a block, and would never choose to go back an aisle in the supermarket for something I forgot. I spent endless hours applying ice packs, elevating my feet, curtailing activities, limiting my work (which is primarily on my feet), taking ibuprofen and consulting with orthopedists. Since 2002, I have had 3 major surgeries on my right ankle and two on my left. Most recently, I had one on each ankle in 2016, 6 months apart. This brings me to Dr. Demetracopoulos at HSS, who I first met in 2015. I went to him as I was, once again, extremely stressed with problems in both ankles, and not convinced that what was being recommended by my Boston surgeon, Dr. Anne Johnson, (a heel osteotomy and a cleaning out of my joint) would give me enough pain relief. She proposed this as she did not want to fuse a second joint in that foot until absolutely necessary.

I was very impressed with Dr. Demetracopoulos at this first visit, as, unlike many orthopedists I had seen, he took his time examining me and my x-rays very carefully, as well as listening to my story. Then he spoke frankly but very kindly. It turned out he knew Dr. Johnson professionally, and thought highly of her. He felt that her point of view and proposed treatment for my right ankle was a good one. He also expressed his concern, after seeing my film, that my left ankle which had had a replacement in 2007, was on the verge of collapse, which surprised me as it did not hurt. He recommended that I have Dr. Johnson operate on the right ankle first, since the pain was so acute, and to then schedule surgery with him for the left ankle six months later. He emphasized that I not wait too long on the left ankle as his opinion was that the old prosthesis could wear through the bone.

I went ahead with his recommendations. I had the right ankle surgery in April 2016, with Dr. Johnson in Boston, and the left ankle surgery in October of 2016 with Dr. Demetracopoulos at HSS. Prior to the left ankle surgery Dr. D. did not know if he would be able to put in a new replacement or if he would have to fuse it. I would have to leave that to him to decide in the surgery. I felt fine about this as I trusted him and felt very confident in him.

Having these two surgeries in one year was not easy, but totally worth it. These doctors gave me back my life. Since then, I have had little to no pain in either ankle, and both function extremely well with little noticeable limp in my walk. I am able to travel, work on my feet, walk, do gentle hiking, kayak, take care of my house and enjoy a good dancing party. I am deeply grateful to both of these doctors for their skill, thoughtfulness and kind and personal attention. And lucky me, Dr. Johnson recently relocated to HSS so now both my terrific doctors are in the same office. I would recommend either and both of them very without reservation.