Overcoming an Injury to Travel the World

Overcoming an Injury to Travel the World

Provided by Riverview Health

Nancy Bottorff was looking forward to a fun-filled year. With a cruise planned in the fall of 2022, the 68-year-old Noblesville resident was excited for everything the coming months had in store. But her plans came screeching to a halt.Riverview Health

“We were at our daughter’s house for a pool party,” Nancy recalled. “I was with my grandson, and we had our arms around each other’s waist as we both took the two steps down to the pool deck. However, I only took one step and fell.”

It was immediately apparent Nancy’s left ankle was broken, and she could tell from the pain that her left wrist was injured.

Nancy was transported by ambulance to the Riverview Health emergency room in Noblesville, where she was seen by orthopedic surgeon Scott Smith, MD.

“I saw Nancy emergently after her injury,” Dr. Smith said. “Unfortunately, both her ankle and wrist were broken at the same time. Normally, people with those separate injuries would be able to go home, but since she had injured both at once, we decided to treat her ankle in a more urgent fashion.”

Dr. Smith operated on Nancy’s ankle the following day to place one plate and nine screws. Fortunately, he was able to get her wrist aligned without surgical intervention and instead was able to place her in a splint.

“Nancy was a trooper,” Dr. Smith said. “It’s tough when both extremities are hurt at the same time, but she had a great outcome. Her surgery went smoothly, and she had no complications.”

“Dr. Smith, the nurses and the therapists at rehab were all awesome,” Nancy said.

After being discharged from the hospital, Nancy had home healthcare for a month, and then she began outpatient therapy at Riverview Health Rehab & Fitness in Noblesville.

Riverview Health“Nancy was in a walking boot and wanted to get out of that right away so she could walk in normal shoes when she went to Europe,” said Riverview Health physical therapist Kelly Byrd. “When I began seeing her, she had pain, swelling in her ankle and decreased strength and range of motion. However, I knew I needed to get her walking and ready for her trip!”

Nancy also worked closely with Riverview Health occupational therapist Lori Cain on her wrist.

“We created a home program, and I saw her twice a week to work on range of motion, strengthening and functional tasks,” Lori said. “For example, we worked on things she would be doing on her trip—such as carrying, pulling and pushing luggage.”

Thanks to Nancy’s diligence and her therapists’ guidance, her treatment was a success—and just in time for her Italy trip.

“We had a phenomenal time on our trip,” Nancy recalled.

When she was in smaller villages, Nancy was able to walk the uneven brick streets. She even participated in a cooking class—a wonderful experience she says she owes to her wrist therapy.

The last town Nancy and her husband, Richard, visited was Volterra, where they toured a beautiful cathedral. Unbeknownst to her husband, Nancy brought her wedding ring with her on the trip. Due to swelling from her injury, she had previously been unable to wear it. But with her hand now healing nicely, Nancy surprised her husband and he placed the ring on her finger again inside the beautiful church. They also exchanged wedding vows once more—a memory she said she will never forget.

Nancy credits the care she received with being able to have the trip of a lifetime.

“I’m so happy I chose Riverview Health for my care,” Nancy said. “To other patients experiencing a similar injury, I urge you to stay strong mentally and listen to your therapists. Follow their directions and be like a child with a parent. Let the therapists beRiverview Health your teacher and you just need to do your homework.”

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