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Building a New and Better Ankle
Date:9/2/2008

obility and movement compared to the option of fusion to repair the joint, not every patient is an ideal candidate. According to Dr. Cracchiolo, patients need a thorough evaluation from a qualified orthopaedic surgeon who feels the procedure may be appropriate. "Some patients have such deformity of the ankle or have an ankle that is so unstable that total ankle replacement is not indicated," explains Cracchiolo.

Signs that you may be a candidate for a total ankle replacement include:

-- Having a destroyed ankle, meaning the surfaces of the ankle are gone

-- Having advanced arthritis of the ankle

(http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00209#Cause)

-- The condition of your ankle is interfering with daily activities and

causing pain

Total ankle replacements can offer patients:

-- Better motion of the ankle compared to fusion

-- Protection in the small joints below and in front of the ankle from

developing arthritis

-- Relief of ankle pain

Currently, there are about 20 total ankle replacement implants worldwide that are either available or in the final stages of design. However the number of clinical studies involving such implants has been limited. Dr. Cracchiolo says, "Great care must go in to selecting not only the ideal patient, but also the implant that should be used. We need more long-term follow up clinical studies on implants here in the U.S. In addition, if patients are young, they should understand that the ankle replacement, just like the hip and knee, is not going to last a life time."

"As improvements in design continue to evolve, the goal is to develop total ankle replacements that are comparable to hips and knees in terms of quality and longevity," noted Dr. Cracchiolo.

Disclosure: Dr. Andrea Cracchiolo received no compensation for this review article and does not
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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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