ESTATE agent Roger Shoesmith is enjoying kitesurfing and walking his dog again after pioneering ankle surgery.
A few months ago the 64-year-old from Rhosneigr on Anglesey was crippled with osteoarthritis and could barely walk.
He was destined to spend the rest of his life on painkillers until he heard about the ankle-fusing operation - arthroscopic arthrodesis - carried out at Spire Yale Hospital in Wrexham.
The procedure was performed by foot and ankle surgeon Mr Nilesh Makwana and after a swift recovery Roger has returned to riding the waves as a kitesurfer. His white terrier dog is also reaping the benefits of long walks again.
Roger, who is originally from Manchester, said: “I used to play with Manchester Rugby Club and broke my right ankle in my 20s and again in my 30s.
“I recovered and thought nothing of it for years until my ankle started to play up in the spring and I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
“We bought the house on the beach because I’m so passionate about kitesurfing and seeing people out there enjoying the sea made me determined to do something about my condition.
“I wasn’t prepared to stay on painkillers and not do the things I enjoy and saw Mr Makwana.
“It was two and a quarter hours of keyhole surgery which involved fusing bone in my lower tibia to the ankle joint. To me the result was nothing short of a miracle.”
After six weeks in plaster and then a further five in an air cast boot, Roger was “set free” and back to his old self.
“It’s like magic, he said. “I’m pain free and have most of my ankle flexibility back.”.
Mr Makwana is a leading authority on the procedure and trains junior doctors.
Born in Nairobi and brought up in Birmingham from a small child, the dad of four boys aged eight to 19 lives in Wrexham.
He said: “Restoring people back to a level of function where they can be themselves again offers me a wonderful sense of achievement.”