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Advanced Ankle Arthroplasty Offers Patients a Reliable Option to Fusion

July 01, 2022
Advanced Ankle Arthroplasty 1 web
For an injured ankle, left, improved componentry can enhance the lifespan of a prosthetic implant, right.

Skilled surgeons at Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute are offering complex ankle arthroplasty for patients suffering crippling arthritis, deformity or debilitating injuries.

This advanced joint replacement option exchanges the bone and tissue at the ankle joint with highly sophisticated prosthetic implants. Surgeons attach advanced metal alloy and polyethylene implant devices to the top of the talus and at the end of the tibia, positioning another implant between the two.

“Ankle arthroplasty relieves pain while maximizing and preserving mobility at the joint,” says Dr. Michael P. Ebaugh, an orthopedic surgeon who recently joined Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute. “It’s usually my preference for improved flexibility, cadence and stride length.”

Keisha Dyer, MD
Michael P. Ebaugh, DO

While ankle fusion surgery has traditionally been a more common option, recent breakthroughs in technology and technique have made ankle joint replacement a preferred alternative.

“Fusions are an option for someone who’s either very, very young or has a degree of Charcot arthropathy,” says Dr. Ebaugh. He completed his fellowship in
a program with a high volume of ankle joint replacements and under the direction of physicians who helped design the most widely used replacement componentry. Today, he performs both primary and revision ankle joint replacement, as well as total talus surgery.

Ankle arthroplasty is designed for patients over the age of 35, with a degree of ankle arthritis, significant avascular necrosis of the talus, deformity or tibiotalar joint arthritis. The procedure also is a consideration for patients with ankle fusions that have not healed or have healed incorrectly, causing pain.

Improved, longer-lasting componentry — combined with better surgical techniques and instruments — enables surgeons to be more accurate and the implants to remain in place functioning properly for years.

“With newer technology, we are seeing much more reliable outcomes,” says Dr. Ebaugh. He collaborates with referring physicians, as well as his team at Orlando Health Jewett Orthopedic Institute, to ensure patients have post- operative lumbar alignment and balanced ankle results.

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