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Ankle distraction arthroplasty: A regenerative solution for osteoarthritis

Austin T. Fragomen, MD, limb lengthening surgeon at HSS and S. Robert Rozbruch, MD, Chief of the Limb Lengthening and Complex Reconstruction Service and Director of the Limb Salvage and Amputation Reconstruction Center at HSS co-author an article for Orthopedics Today 

Ankle distraction arthroplasty is a mechano-biological treatment for osteoarthritis of the ankle that serves as an alternative to ankle arthrodesis and prosthetic arthroplasty, or total ankle replacement.

The allure of ankle distraction is that the procedure can improve the condition of the ankle joint and reduce pain by harnessing the patient’s own healing potential. Ankle distraction arthroplasty was created for young people who were too active for ankle replacement surgery (where wearing out the components or the bone is a concern). Similarly problematic, ankle fusion in younger patients will inevitability lead to adjacent joint arthritis, making this treatment suboptimal. Ankle distraction arthroplasty has filled this gap in treatment options by providing a method that preserves foot and ankle motion without requiring resurfacing implants. Ankle distraction arthroplasty maintains bone stock and joint geometry. We like to say ankle distraction arthroplasty does not burn bridges for future treatments. With time, it was recognized that older patients could benefit from ankle distraction arthroplasty and enjoyed similar outcomes.

Read the full article at healio.com.