Ankle distraction arthroplasty, also known as arthrodiastasis, is an alternative to a total ankle replacement or ankle fusion for younger patients with end stage ankle arthritis.
In this procedure, a circular external fixation device is applied to the lower leg and the ankle joint is slightly pulled apart (distracted). Patients are able to walk immediately after application and the external fixator is left in place for three months. The hydrostatic pressure changes created in the ankle joint from distraction and loading with weightbearing have been reported to stimulate cartilage regeneration. After three months the external fixation device is removed. Ankle distraction athroplasty is a stronger consideration for patients in their 20's and 30's because they are able to generate a better quality cartilage in the ankle joint. Ankle distraction arthroplasy may help delay a total ankle replacement or ankle fusion, both of which have risks in a younger patient with end stage ankle arthritis.
We are your Seattle area Ankle Specialists; we treat the full spectrum of ankle conditions simple to complex. Whether you are in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Bothell, Arlington, Mount Vernon, or Whidbey Island call us today to make an appointment and we can educate you on ankle and foot problems and better yet find solutions!
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