11 Feb Surgical Treatment Options for Ankle Arthritis with Dr. James T. Reagan, M.D.
So ankle arthritis is a very debilitating problem and it causes lots of disability for patients that experience it. It usually has a traumatic or a deformity based origin.
There are multiple different conservative measures that can be tried for ankle arthritis. This includes bracing, it includes injections, as well as medications and even physical therapy. But once all of those have failed, if they do fail, then there’s really two main treatment options.
With an ankle replacement, basically what we do is we cut out the diseased or arthritic bone and cartilage, and we replace it with mechanical parts, much like you have seen or heard about with people with knee replacements and hip replacements.
This is better for an elderly patient, maybe 60 years or older, who is relatively lower demand because they can wear out. They have a lifespan of anywhere from 10 to 20 years.
An ankle fusion is basically trying to trick the two bones to healing together at the ankle joint. It does require a fairly lengthy time period off of your feet after surgery. This is about three months on average. If you’ve had a previous ankle injury, or you have x-ray evidence of arthritis, or if you just have simply ankle pain, then I’m the right guy to see.