Ankle Arthritis at Hospital for Special Surgery
Ankle arthritis is most often the result of gradual joint degeneration following trauma. The symptoms include pain and stiffness in the ankle joint, and in many cases, the way you walk (your gait) is negatively impacted. Non-operative treatment usually consists of rest, activity modification, NSAID’s, injection, and sometimes bracing.
Surgical treatments include joint preservation ankle distraction surgery, ankle fusion, and ankle replacement. While fusion and joint replacement can be effective treatments, both have limitations. Namely fusion leads to loss of ankle motion and puts excessive force on adjacent joints of the foot which can lead to premature arthritis and pain. While ankle replacement does preserve ankle motion, a lot of ankle bone must be removed to insert the implant and the longevity is not known.
Dr. S. Robert Rozbruch is an expert in joint preservation surgery with ankle distraction. This is a good conservative treatment that has been very effective in his hands and does not burn bridges for the future.