Features May 2011 Issue

New Ways to Ankle Repair

If you have unremitting ankle pain, you can have the joint replaced…but choose your surgeon carefully.

How you can add "ankle" to the expanding list of joints—hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, etc.—that are candidates for replacement. Although the procedure has been around since the 1980s, "the first generation of ankle replacement joints were poor, so changes have been made to improve them," says Brian Donley, MD, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Cleveland Clinic. Four replacement joint parts (prosthetics) have recently been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and more are on the way. But ankle replacement isn’t for everybody—nor should the procedure be performed by just any surgeon.

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