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Has anyone had an ankle transplant?

By June 19, 2016 - 10:47am
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I had a closed ankle fracture (a crush) of my ankle in a car accident (cars hit us and we went head first into a telephone pole while I was slamming on the brake) 20 years ago this year. I have been waiting for the doctors to come up with a better option than a fusion (which I view as "not an opiton" becuase of all the side affects it causes - top of foot, hip, knee and back pain) or ankle replacement with what I call a "robo" ankle. I saw a specialist out of Mercy Hospital in Baltimore recently (Dr. Mark Myerson) who has offered me another option of an ankle transplant. I think I'm going to take it -they can still do the "robo" ankle if it doesn't work. They use a donor ankle and then coat it with stem cells they are going to take out of my hip. The doctor said it's a 50/50 chance it will work but I think it's worth it to try. He has one patient who had a successful one and is running marathons. I asked him about cartlidge replacement (which is being done experimentally in Australia) but he said that it will probably be 10 years before it's done in the U.S. I am confident in this surgeon as one of the former doctors I've been to left their practice at Johns Hopkins to train under this guy and is now in practice with him - he's also taught ankle surgery all over the world.

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EmpowHER Guest

I know years ago (maybe 8-10) in Baltimore they were doing cadaver cartilage replacements. This procedure was not successful...at all. I completely feel your views about a fusion. In my opinion, a fusion is the end of me. I have busted my ass off too many years hoping, praying, and waiting for some type of medical breakthrough! I mean come on, it's 2016! They can grow whole body parts but someone can't figure out how to keep an ankle going!?!?! And 17.5 years later...I'm still waiting.

I also know two surgeons in the US are doing stem cell cartilage, where they put cellulose in the joint, take the bone marrow out of your hip, inject it into to cellulose and wait for cartilage to grow (3 weeks). From my extensive research so far on this...it is not working either.

I have never heard or thought of a complete cadaver ankle replacement. I'm very curious now.

June 30, 2016 - 7:08pm

Thanks Faith, I actually did read and commented on one of those articles. Thank you for the information though. I was hoping maybe someone else who had an ankle transplant might be in the community and be able to share their experience with it.

June 30, 2016 - 2:31pm

Hello and welcome to EmpowHer,
Below I've pasted links to some HER articles you may find helpful.

Ankle Fusion vs. Ankle Replacement

Life After Ankle Fusion: One Woman's Personal Battle

I hope that's helpful.

June 19, 2016 - 6:51pm
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