If you are a regular visitor to our blog, you have already read about osteoarthritis and some of the different treatment options available. We here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists want you to know that there are very few options for treatment of osteoarthritis that we can’t offer you. Remember that the sooner you seek out treatment, the longer we can keep you pain free and functional.
Early treatment of osteoarthritis is achieved through non-surgical, conservative care. Conservative treatments, such as orthotics, medication, or therapy are always first lines of defense. Another more invasive procedure involves lubricating the joint via injection. When these treatments no longer provide you relief, there are several surgical options you can take advantage of. An arthroscopic procedure will allow for removal and any ‘junk’ in the joint that is contributing to your discomfort. In the past, arthrodesis, or fusion of the ankle joint, was the next option. This procedure has been performed so often that it has been touted as the ‘gold standard’ of treatment for painful osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, by eliminating motion at the ankle, there are increased demands placed on your knees and hips of both legs, as well as back and foot problems. It has been shown that within several years after ankle fusion, arthritis in other joints may become so severe that further joint replacements or surgeries will be required.Surgeons have been performing arthroplasty procedures to replace knees, hips, and shoulders for many years and with good success. Because of its smaller size and increased forces, progress in ankle replacements has lagged behind these other joints. You will actually still find much information questioning the success of ankle replacements. The Inbone® Total Ankle Replacement is the third generation of development improving on the shortfalls of its predecessors. This particular ankle replacement is extremely stable with excellent fixation to replicate a normal joint. By creating a range of motion similar to your natural ankle joint, this replacement minimizes or eliminates further arthritic damage to other joints. If you are living with painful osteoarthritis, be sure to discuss this option with Dr. Thomajan at your next visit to Austin Foot and Ankle Specialist.
Until next time, keep those ankles pain free Austin!