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Steve Natko

Westfield, NJ
  • Steve Natko in the photo 1
  • Steve Natko in the photo 2
  • Steve Natko in the photo 3

I am 59 and a lifelong tennis player. I also go to the gym regularly, but tennis is what gives me pleasure. After playing for several years with blinding pain, braced ankles and long periods of icing afterwards, I learned that my end-stage osteoarthritis left me with only two options: ankle fusion and total ankle replacement. I couldn’t participate without pain in the one sport that had defined my sporting life. In the spring of 2016, I was referred to Dr. Demetracopoulos.

The first time we met, he looked at the x-rays of the bone-on-bone grinding in my both my ankles and asked (humorously), “Well, which one would you like to do first?” The first replacement was in November 2016 and I was back on the tennis court the following spring. The repaired ankle was pain-free. The second replacement was done in late October 2017. Now, 8 months following the second surgery, I’m playing tennis regularly (4-5 times a week) without pain. My mobility is more limited than at my peak, but the pain is gone.

Dr. Demetracopoulos and his team have returned me to the court, giving me back pain-free participation in the sport I love. This is the very definition of “Back in the Game” and is nothing short of a miracle.

My gratitude for the medical excellence, professionalism and compassion of Dr. Demetracopoulos and his remarkable staff (Meghan, David and others), and the hospital’s nurses, aides, pre- and after-care consultants, even receptionists, is endless. HSS gave me back my life.