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Ankle Fusion vs. Ankle Replacement

 
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Painful joints can truly lessen one’s quality of life, and when that pain is not alleviated through non-invasive means, the patient may be facing the decision to undergo surgery.

Painful joints can truly lessen one’s quality of life, and when that pain is not alleviated through non-invasive means, the patient may be facing the decision to undergo surgery.

In the case of an ankle joint, when pain, deformities or immobility persist and do not respond to medicinal or therapeutic measures, ankle fusion surgery may be an option.

According to www.myanklereplacement.com, ankle fusion surgery dates back to the end of the 19th century. Doctors can use a variety of technologies with the desired result being freedom from pain and regained stability.

For a patient to even be considered for such surgery, they must present with persistent ankle joint pain and a stiffness that does not allow for normal functioning. These conditions have not responded to typical non-surgical applications. Such non-invasive approaches might include the prescription of anti-inflammatory medications, custom-made shoes and shoe inserts, physical therapy, and certain steroid injections.

Among the contributing factors to ankle joint pain is arthritis. In the ankle joint, arthritis can completely erode the cartilage that protects it. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and immobility of the ankle. The end result can produce limitations on one’s daily activities.

According to the ankle replacement Web site, in primary ankle fusion procedures, the ankle joint is removed. This allows the tibia to grow together, or fuse with, the talus bone, which is the first large bone of the foot. A variety of pins, plates, rods, and screws are inserted through the bones to hold them together until they properly fuse and heal.

Ankle fusion surgery is noted to be quite durable, and once the joints have completely fused together, most patients can walk and move around without pain. However, the ankle does become stiff post-surgery and this leads to decreased mobility of the joint. The patient may have some downward movement, but upward movement is not possible.

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Anonymous

I had the ankle fusion performed july 09 .. I am a 57 year old active male who now has to have it done again in 12/09.. if you have it done stay off it I waited 90 days to weight bearing and it loosened up..

November 12, 2009 - 10:39am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.