Inevitably it happens. If not to you it may happen to someone you know. And, ironically, in Oklahoma it has been given a name. OPA for short or what we now call the Oklahoma porch accident. Yes the proverbial slip and fall, which we see, happen all to frequently. Sometimes it’s just a sprain, which often gets better with conservative treatment. However, sometimes it’s a fracture, a broken ankle that can have all sorts of additional problems. One of those problems can begin to affect you years later causing a great deal of disability. This is what we call post-traumatic arthritis. Or, simply, arthritis that occurs after an accident, which damages the cartilage in a joint. In this case the ankle joint.
There are all sorts of things to try when treating an ankle that has arthritis. Anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, injections, bracing and ultimately fusing the joint. A fusion is a procedure where the cartilage is removed and the bones are welded together with a surgical procedure making two bones into one. Ironically, with our current technology this is still the gold standard for the treatment of end stage ankle arthritis. Fortunately, there is now another answer. Ankle replacement.
Ankle replacement in our country was first introduced in 1983. There have been several developments since that time which now makes ankle replacement a viable option for treating ankle arthritis instead of having an ankle fusion. An ankle replacement allows continued movement of the ankle joint while relieving pain. This will soon become the gold standard for treating ankle arthritis that has failed conservative treatment. Currently there are not many surgeons who can perform that technically difficult procedure. I have been performing ankle replacement \s for 16 years however with great results.
Even with the advanced technology to help patients several doctors are still not aware that an ankle replacement exist. At the Orthopedic Center we are committed to bring to Tulsa and the surrounding areas the absolute latest and greatest technology to help patients. Please watch for community outreach talks in you area to educate not just physicians but also the public at large. The first one will take place in June 2018.
Let’s work together to get the most out of your ankle. Get the arthritis and pain out and get moving again.