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Is ankle replacement surgery more effective than ankle fusion surgery?

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Posted on Tue, 19 Mar 2019
Question: Hi,
What can you tell me about the benefits or comparisons between ankle fusion and the more recent ankle replacement operations.
I have been told by a local surgeon I am a perfect candidate for ankle fusion. Have not sought opinion for an ankle replacement.
X-rays show bone on bone in the right ankle as well as damage to the bone and arthritis.
MRI show damage to ligaments. Ankle ligaments are very loose on both ankles. Have sprained both ankles many times, broke right ankle once.
Currently wearing ankle brace, but pain is limiting my interest in walking long distances, and running is out.
DOB 0000




doctor
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Type of surgery chosen depends on both patient and surgeon characteristics.

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

Ankle fusion involves cleaning the worn out ankle joint and fusing the bones together with screws, plates and bone grafts. Ankle fusion relieves pain, but it also limits ankle’s range of motion. Recovery is longer with ankle fusion than ankle replacement. It can take around 10 to 12 weeks in a cast.

As the ankle joint is locked in place, physical therapy is not part of the recovery process. Ankle fusion is predominantly indicated in a patient for controlling the ankle pain, simultaneously sacrificing the ankle mobility.

Ankle fusion is also recommended in whom total ankle replacement is not an option. Such cases would be those with overweight, associated nerve damage, paralysis, a history of infection, diabetes or deranged blood supply to a joint.

Ankle replacement is the latest option. It replaces the arthritic ankle joint with a metal prosthesis. The recovery period is shorter than ankle fusion – typically 3 to 6 weeks in a cast followed by physical therapy.

One can regain a much wider range of motion and most return to active lifestyles and thus this procedure is considered in those who prefer to have an active lifestyle.

Few patients who had an ankle fusion may be candidates for ankle replacement surgery to restore movement and function.

The choice of surgery ultimately depends upon the individual body characteristics and the surgeon's choice.

Hope I have answered your query. Post your further queries if any.

Thank you.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Suresh Heijebu (1 hour later)
Hello,

Thank you for your comments. I am very interested in exploring an ankle replacement operation. I live in XXXXXXX NY
I know of one surgeon who does this operation in XXXXXXX However, he has not been doing them for a long time. I would like to have a list of surgeons in XXXXXXX or in other parts of the country who have a longer proven track record of successfully performing the ankle replacement operation.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Suresh Heijebu (22 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Dr. XXXXXXX XXXX

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I am here providing you with the details of an eminent doctor specialised in ankle surgery.

Dr. XXXXXXX XXXX

Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Surgery

Dr. XXXXXXX XXXX is an orthopedic foot & ankle surgery specialist in XXXXXXX NY and has been practising for 23 years. She graduated from University XXXX / College Of Medicine in 1989 and specializes in orthopedic foot & ankle surgery and orthopedic surgery

URMC Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation XXXXXXX 601 XXXX Box 665 XXXXXXX XXXX
Phone: 0000
Fax Number: 0000

Kindly seek assistance from here.

Hope I have answered your query.

Regards,
Dr. Suresh Heijebu, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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Answered by
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Dr. Suresh Heijebu

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2010

Answered : 3659 Questions

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Is ankle replacement surgery more effective than ankle fusion surgery?

Brief Answer: Type of surgery chosen depends on both patient and surgeon characteristics. Detailed Answer: Hello, Ankle fusion involves cleaning the worn out ankle joint and fusing the bones together with screws, plates and bone grafts. Ankle fusion relieves pain, but it also limits ankle’s range of motion. Recovery is longer with ankle fusion than ankle replacement. It can take around 10 to 12 weeks in a cast. As the ankle joint is locked in place, physical therapy is not part of the recovery process. Ankle fusion is predominantly indicated in a patient for controlling the ankle pain, simultaneously sacrificing the ankle mobility. Ankle fusion is also recommended in whom total ankle replacement is not an option. Such cases would be those with overweight, associated nerve damage, paralysis, a history of infection, diabetes or deranged blood supply to a joint. Ankle replacement is the latest option. It replaces the arthritic ankle joint with a metal prosthesis. The recovery period is shorter than ankle fusion – typically 3 to 6 weeks in a cast followed by physical therapy. One can regain a much wider range of motion and most return to active lifestyles and thus this procedure is considered in those who prefer to have an active lifestyle. Few patients who had an ankle fusion may be candidates for ankle replacement surgery to restore movement and function. The choice of surgery ultimately depends upon the individual body characteristics and the surgeon's choice. Hope I have answered your query. Post your further queries if any. Thank you. Regards.