Back On His Feet

August 16, 2018

Doctors team up to help a Hazlet man after a devastating injury.

As a Longshoreman working in a port in Newark, Henry Glindmeyer,57, is around heavy machinery every day. In May 2017, he suffered a major accident when a 66-ton machine that’s used to lift containers off ships rolled over his foot, crushing it.

Henry was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. “They were discussing amputating the foot, but did an initial operation to try to save it,” he says. He requested to be transferred to Bayshore Medical Center, where he was already familiar with some of the physicians. Once he arrived at Bayshore, a team of doctors, including Ian Hersh, M.D., a podiatric surgeon, worked together to save his foot. Dr. Hersh performed several debridement procedures, in which he cleaned the foot and removed pieces of dead tissue.

Victor Fontana, D.O., a plastic surgeon at Bayshore, reconstructed Henry’s foot in stages over the course of three surgeries. Henry had lost all the skin from the dorsum, or top of the foot. Dr. Fontana used a material called INTEGRA™, a skin substitute made of bovine tendon collagen and silicone, as well as skin from Henry’s leg, to reconstruct his foot.

COORDINATING COMPLEX CARE

Henry’s condition was particularly complex not only due to the severity of his injury, but also because he has diabetes and other medical problems. “All of the doctors involved in Henry’s care, including the medical, renal and surgical experts, were in constant communication about the antibiotics he was receiving, managing the severe swelling of his foot and what we were going to do next,” Dr. Fontana says. “The ease of doctor-to-doctor communication and teamwork that we have at Bayshore were key factors in saving Henry’s foot.”

ONE STEP AT A TIME

Henry was at Bayshore for a total of six weeks. About a month later, he was able to walk with a boot on his foot. Eventually, he was able to put weight on that foot and walk wearing a specially designed shoe. He attends outpatient physical therapy as he rebuilds his strength and stability.

“When the injury happened, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to walk again,” Henry says. “The fact that I’m walking and have no pain is thanks to the incredible care I received at Bayshore.”

This story was featured in the July/August issue of HealthViews. Click here to view the whole issue.