Avera Medical Minute: Complicated orthopedic cases in Pierre

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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sonya Leeraksakiat is just as comfortable riding her horse, as she is walking the land. Last year, one small move on the dismount caused a big problem.

Complicated orthopedic surgeries in Pierre

"I decided to jump off my horse, and that's when it all happened," said Leeraksakiat.

What happened was a tiny fracture, unseen at first with an x-ray. The pain continued for several months. After the arrival of their first baby Kershaw, Sonya knew she couldn't keep limping around with a newborn.

"I decided to come to Avera to see one of the specialists. They decided to do another x-ray. We found out that it was actually broken the whole time," said Leeraksakiat.

Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mark Hagy at Avera Medical Group Pierre, South Dakota knew this break was unique.

This wasn't the first time Dr.Hagy had dealt with a complicated bone fracture. "That can be a challenge and that's something I've been trained to do," said Dr. Hagy.

Thankfully, a complicated orthopedic surgery like this one can take place right in Pierre. "If patients are traveling to either side of the state, I would say that is not necessary," said Dr. Hagy.

During surgery, Sonya had a plate and four screws attached to one side of her ankle, and two screws on the other side. She was in a cast 6 weeks, a walking boot after and continued with physical therapy.

Knowing that Dr. Hagy has experience handling even the most challenging issues with ankles, hips, knees, and more gave her the reassurance to stay in her hometown.

He's not one to brag but Dr. Hagy loves hearing when patients are grateful to have this level of expertise in Pierre.

"I hear, 'We're so glad that somebody's here that are doing some of these newer techniques, especially a lot of this foot and ankle work, so we don't have to drive so far," said Dr. Hagy.

Now that's she's doing this well, Sonya is really to jump back into life again. "It feels great to be actually able to walk around and do stuff with my kid and be able to function mostly like a normal person, I feel great," said Leeraksakiat.