Medical-Device Company Hosts First Patient Summit

May 14, 2024

For Elizabeth Reinhardt, having both ankles replaced has restored her quality of life, providing an example of the benefits of Stryker’s innovation in joint replacement.

“I’ve been able to do a lot of traveling that I would not otherwise have been able to do,” said Reinhardt, 34, operations manager for Wheelchairs 4 Kids in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Earlier this week, Reinhardt and four other patients with artificial ankles shared their experiences at a town-hall-style summit held at Stryker Corp.’s Arlington campus. The event featured an array of patients from Reinhardt to a local cyclist and former police-department leader who needed the procedure to continue exercising.

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“Total-ankle is the fastest growing sub-segment within the foot-and-ankle space,” said Michael Rankin, the company’s vice president of marketing and medical education for foot and ankle. The procedure gives patients much more mobility than fusing a problematic ankle.

Reinhardt, who was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when she was 2 years old, also has two artificial knees. She appreciates the strides made in joint replacements that allow more mobility for patients while also making the devices safe.

“People are staying active for longer periods of time, and when they develop arthritis, they’re really looking to maintain that mobility throughout the entirety of their life so they can maintain that quality of life that they’ve known throughout,” Rankin said.

Some of the company’s newest innovations in Arlington are within the total-ankle-replacement space, including its Prophecy system in which specific instrumentation is custom created for each patient.

“It makes the procedure very efficient for the surgeon and just allows us to have very reproducible outcomes,” Rankin said.

The Arlington campus is also developing new, minimally invasive solutions, said Patrick Fisher, Stryker vice president and general manager of foot and ankle.

“One of the big things we’re working on is for minimally invasive bunions,” Fisher said. “It’s a very unique, new approach. In the last five to 10 years, it’s really taken root.”