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Should I consider an Ankle Replacement for for my Ankle Arthritis?

What is an ankle arthritis?

Ankle arthritis is a condition that there is a diffuse and irreversible damage to the cartilage and bone of the ankle joint. They most commonly occured after traumatic events and less commonly related to inflammatory conditions and idiopathic causes. Patients usually suffer from pain, stiffness, swelling, and deformity making it difficlut to perform daily activities.

What are the nonsurgical treatments available for ankle arthritis?

Ankle arthritis can be treated with several nonsurgical methods including activity modifications, antiinflammatory medications, bracing, cortisone injection, and viscosupplimentation. Patients with underlying of inflammatory diseases may benefit more from antiinflammatory medication and cortisone injections. Bracing such as an ankle foot orthosis (AFO) can be helpful as a longterm treatment by avoid overloading to the ankle from external protection. Viscosupplimentation with hyalulonic acid is an emerging treatment with good safety and efficacy but requires more studies.

What are the surgical options for ankle arthritis?

Surgical treatments of ankle arthritis include arthroscopic debridement, realignment osteotomies, ankle distraction, ankle fusion, and ankle replacement. Arthroscopic debridement is appropriate in early disease where most symptoms are located in the bone spurs and inflammed synovium at periphery of the ankle joint. Realignment osteotomies are considered when a malalignment is the major cause of localized arthritis such as severe varus or valgus deformities. Ankle distraction has moderate success in preserving the ankle joint in young patients. Ankle fusion and ankle replacements are the two most successful option in patients with painful end-staged ankle arthritis.

Am I a candidate for ankle replacement?

Ankle replacement is appropriate when conditions from the patients and surgeons are fulfilled. Ideal patients who will benefit from an ankle replacement are those

1. 60 years or older

2. Requiring low-impact activities

3. Absence of poorly controlled diabetes, neuropathy, morbid obesity, and avascular necrosis

What are the risks and benefits of ankle replacement?

Risks: wound infection, prosthetic joint infection, aseptic loosening, nerve damage, stiffness, nonunion, hardware related symptoms, blod clots

Benefit: pain relief, preserved ankle motion, improved walking gait, avoidance of longterm bracing

What is the recovery after an ankle replacement?

Dr. P’s postoperative protocols include nonweightbearing of 6 weeks using crutches, or a walker, and/or a knee scooter. Patients will keep the posterative splint clean, dry, and intact until the first follow-up at 2 weeks after surgery. Afterwards, a boot or a cast will be put on in the clinics. At 6-week point, postoperative X-rays will be optained to assess bone healing prior to the start of progressive weightbearing. Patients can usually return to normal shoes and light daily activities without a walking aid by 12 weeks after surgery. Driving can normally resume when the patient stops taking pain medication and can walk comfortably typically around week 8; a trial of driving under family-member supervision is recommended.

Why should I choose Dr. P for an ankle replacement?

                -Dr. P is the pioneer and leader in the treatment of ankle arthritis by an ankle replacement with peer-reviewed research.

                -Dr. P is one of the most experienced orthopaedic foot and ankle experts in Midwest who has performed hundreds of ankle replacements especially Inbone system.

                -Dr. P is patient-oriented for achieve goals and expectations of successful outcomes 

What do patients say about Dr. P?

                -Getting to know Dr. P

                -Dr. P’s Patient Reviews

What are the examples of patients with an ankle replacement?

Author
Phinit Phisitkul, MD

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