Why Choose Replacement Over Fusion?
When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief from chronic, severe ankle arthritis pain, it’s time to consider surgery. Ankle Fusion
For years, ankle fusion (“arthrodesis”) was about the only treatment option for patients suffering with end-stage ankle arthritis. Ankle fusion eliminates the joint to relieve pain, but it also has disadvantages:
- Eliminates range of motion
- Results in an abnormal gait (walking)
- Increases long-term risk of arthritis developing in adjacent hindfoot joints
With Total Ankle Replacement, “arthroplasty,” Dr. Onosode replaces the damaged joint with an implant. The new, artificial joint can relieve pain and closely mimic the natural movement of a healthy ankle. Patients with Total Ankle Replacement typically are able to walk, pain-free, with a normal gait within a year of surgery.
In recent years, an increasing number of specially trained ankle specialists are beginning to adopt and recommend ankle replacements rather than fusions.
During ankle replacement surgery, the physician covers the tibia with a metal tibial tray. Next, a metal talar dome covers the talus. A plastic liner placed between the tray and the dome enables the hinge-like motion of a healthy ankle. Typically, no additional hardware is required for fixation and no grafting is necessary.