At the age of 73, Kay Patton is too active to let a bad ankle slow her down.

"I've got places to go, things to do. I love life, and I love doing things," Patton told 11Alive's Jennifer Leslie.

Patton was doing work in her yard a few years ago when she fell from a ladder and shattered her ankle.

"The pain was incredible," she explained.

She went to Ortho Atlanta in Stockbridge, where orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sharrona Williams rebuilt her ankle using bone grafts, plates and screws.

But Patton was still in pain and slowing down, so Dr. Williams recommended total ankle replacement.

"The goal of ankle replacement is to restore functional motion. That's what you want," Dr. Williams said.

New technology, implants and surgical techniques have improved outcomes over the years, but ankle replacement is not for everyone.

In fact, some patients can't quality if they struggle with obesity, have vascular issues or do hard labor.

For Patton, it was life-changing.

"I go, and I do," she said. ""So now I'm trying to help someone who maybe has never heard of this, either because it's rare, it's not a common thing."