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Rachel Komyati

West New York, NJ

In October 2014 at 26 years old, I started feeling toe stiffness and pain while training for the NYC Marathon and tried physical therapy with a combination of cortisone shots. In January 2016 I had surgery #1 - a cheilectomy. When they went in there, it was discovered that I had a pothole of missing cartilage and pretty severe osteoarthritis, especially for someone who was my age. After running the 2016 NYC Marathon, I had my second surgery in December - bio-cartilage and 2 screws were put in and more bone was shaved down to give my big toe joint more movement. After five months of PT plus pain associated with running, shoes wearing, bad weather, etc. I started googling and stumbled upon Dr. Drakos.

After our initial visit Dr. Drakos suggested a big toe joint implant called Cartiva plus removing the bio-cartilage and screws. He decided I was a good surgical candidate with a likely successful outcome. I scheduled for surgery the following month (December 2017). Unlike many doctors who would just say find another passion, Dr. Drakos promised I would be able to run with less pain (more happiness) and wear shoes! At 29, I was looking for a better quality of life without having to worry about my shoe wear and if it was raining or not (my foot used to curl up in pain).

I knew from the moment I woke up from surgery that the (painful) screws were out, even though I was numb from the waist down I could feel the pressure out. Everything about this surgery felt different: less pain, less swelling, and more movement! On my 3 month post-op anniversary I ran (2 weeks ahead of schedule) with my high energy border collie, who really missed her running partner for a whole 5 minutes at a 7 minute mile pace.

In July (7 months post-op) I hiked 4 mountains in Mount Desert Island in Maine completely pain-free. I knew that it was time to sign up for my first post-op comeback race. 11 months to the day of my joint replacement I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon! So grateful for Dr. Drakos and HSS for getting me Back in the Game.