Dr. Horton shares how he cares for patients with ankle arthritis.
Well, patients with arthritis, advanced arthritis of the ankle, have limited options. When it comes to the point where you no longer have the joint space remaining and your bone is starting to get in contact with each other there’s really only two alternatives and that includes ankle joint replacement or ankle joint fusion.
Historically ankle joint fusion has been the gold standard because it is a very durable and predictable type of surgery. The problem is, you give up a lot of motion in the ankle. Your ankle no longer moves and it is frozen in a solid, right angle position. Occasionally, people will have problems walking normally because their gait is vaulted. They actually spring when they walk because their foot cannot react to the ground in the same way as a normal ankle can.
With ankle joint replacement, you preserve function of the ankle joint and therefore you have a little bit normal walking style, and especially in women, you know, who prefer to walk with certain ability that is manifested by their special unique gait style and also the desire to wear certain types of footwear, having ankle motion is a very important thing.
About Dr. Horton, M.D.:
Dr. Eric R. Horton, M.D. is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in lower extremity conditions and ankle and foot reconstruction at Alvarado Orthopedic Medical Group. He has almost ten years of private practice experience in treating a wide range of adult, juvenile, and childhood orthopedic disorders including trauma, sports injuries, arthritis, leg deformities, and other musculoskeletal conditions of the body.