Nurse finds healing in new surgery method

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Rita Jennings points to her heel, the site of new surgery performed by Dr. Kenneth Bramlett of Birmingham.

BIRMINGHAM — In the midst of all of the uncertainty surrounding the current and future state of our nation’s healthcare, it is gratifying to hear good news where a doctor executed a very effective surgery and a positive patient outcome.

Ask Rita Jennings, an operating room nurse from Selma, who developed Plantar Fasciitis last year. Commonly known as “heel spur,” this condition involves the tearing and inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes.

Finding herself thus unable to perform her job, not to mention her usual hobbies of running and biking, Jennings pursued eight months of the slow and ineffective treatments typically recommended for this condition — orthotics, stretching, and steroids — all to no avail.

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Seeking relief, Jennings visited orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Bramlett, who performed an arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involved an incision no larger than a quarter of an inch along the side of Jennings’s heel.

“I was amazed at the turnaround time,” said Jennings. “I had the procedure done on Friday and was back to work on Monday.”

Traditional methods to treat Plantar Fasciitis are very slow — taking up to eight months to treat – and are sometimes unsuccessful.

The procedure was executed with Bramlett’s careful attention to surgical details and Jennings was given a reasonable price of $1,500, which 100 percent was paid for by her insurance.

Soon, there will be a pair of fresh, healthy feet pounding up the roads of Selma, as detached from the thought of pain as from the bits of gravel kicked up in their wake.

“I really do believe it’s going to be the standard in what patients expect,” said Bramlett.

Dr. Bramlett is an orthopedic surgeon with Sports Medicine Clinic of Alabama PC.