I’ve always had tendencies of spraining my right ankle to the point that 4 years ago I had thought I fractured my ankle because I had missed a few 2 large steps on a staircase on a friend’s house, back in 2017. I remembered it was almost 10pm at night and the back of her house was really dark with no lights and I was waiting for a grab when I twisted my ankle really badly.
My parents brought me to the A&E after a few days to get an x-ray but we found nothing was broken and just let it heal on its own until the pain subsided. Fast forward to 2020, there was no pain until I started going back to my 4 year yoga practice at home and at pure yoga singapore.
I go to yoga 4 times a week almost daily, and because yoga involves a lot of planks, chaturangas, one legged balancing poses, I found my ankle starting to hurt again and it was so strange, because this injury was so long ago, and I decided to go to a podiatrist to get my leg checked and taped with sports tape.
The podiatrist said that I might have to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon which was when I found Dr Alan Cheung at International Orthopaedic Clinic at Mount elizabeth novena hospital. He had assessed my condition and told me that he suspected that it was more than just a ligament tear and sent me for an MRI scan
True enough, I cried so much in the MRI scanner because I Knew something was very wrong and on the day I got my MRI scans back was the same day I went back for a consultation, my ligament joints were loose and were almost jelly like comparing to a healthy ligament on my left foot.
The second day when my friends came to visit me, to be honest Dr Alan is by far the most down to earth, approachable and humble doctor including his clinic nurses and staff. He’s even following me on my personal instagram account now, and he knew how nervous I was especially since it was my first time going under general anaesthesia.
He told me in the operating room before he put me under that he’ll be there the whole time throughout the recovery process and he’d always have my back. I was worried because I could not practice yoga for almost 4 months and yoga is my whole life, I knew I had to be very patient with myself even though I’m not a patient person at all.
Throughout all the back and forth doctor’s appointments to IOC and the hospital, one of the wounds though had been leaking pus and fluid for one month since discharge. After restitching the wound, antibiotics, we decided to do a surgical wash out in hospital and to admit me again for 3 days to monitor me.
I’ll be undergoing a surgical wash out on Monday, 9th November. I know it’s not my doctor’s fault, but also because I may have pushed myself too quickly into recovery when the wounds had not healed.
Despite all this, Dr Alan was so incredibly patient with me, walked me through every step of the way. It being my right leg, the physical and psychological pain of being handicapped hit me really hard in the 3rd week and I started crying every single night.
Also because of all the medications, painkillers which is Lyrica causes depression, as someone who struggles with mental health, the painkiller did make me feel very depressed. When I knew I had to undergo a second surgery, I broke down in my doctor’s office and he was so comforting and understanding throughout it all, knowing how psychologically hard it had affected me.
He’d always motivated me and told me that he knew I was such a strong person, having been through so much in my life, being able to walk 24 hours post surgery and me telling him I wanted to go for my 200Hour yoga teacher training (200H YTT) in 2022. Dr Alan told me “yoga teachers don’t give up so easily, so please don’t give up on yourself, I know the amount of medication is a lot”.
That being said, there were times in the recovery process where I truly did feel like I was alone in this, and I reached out to my psychologist for help and I knew I had to let go of expectations this second round of surgery. No matter what I had to be patient with myself and not be so hard to rush back into surgery.
Thinking of Christmas at the end of the year, an incredible doctor that always has my back, so much gratitude to team IOC for getting a wheelchair from the hospital to send me up to clinic everytime during the first 2 weeks of recovery for my follow up appointments, their prompt response to appointments and checking with Dr Alan about medications.
Truly, I realise how important my leg is to me now, and I didn’t choose Dr Alan, I read reviews on google about orthopaedic surgeons in Novena and IOC had the best reviews and was in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital. I can’t wait to update you guys on my surgery journey part 2 , and hope all goes smoothly.
To get in touch with Dr Alan Cheung and make an appointment at International Orthopaedic Clinic, here are their contact details