FROM OUR EXPERTS
Ankle replacement is designed to treat arthritis of the ankle. This type of arthritis is most commonly caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is " wear and tear" of the cartilage in a joint . Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by a system-wide disease process, which affects the entire body. Osteoarthritis can affect isolated joints whereas rheumatoid arthritis usually affects multiple joints. Post-traumatic arthritis is the breakdown of cartilage which occurs after a joint has been injured, such as by a fracture. In a candidate for ankle replacement, the arthritis has typically progressed to a complete or near complete loss of cartilage on the surface of the ankle bones.
In a normal ankle joint, the surface of the bones touching each other have a smooth layer of cartilage covering them. We don't feel pain in a normal ankle when walking or standing, because the cartilage does not have nerves and we therefore do not feel sensation...
The main advantage of ankle replacement surgery is to relieve ankle arthritis pain and to preserve motion in the ankle joint. The alternative to ankle replacement surgery is ankle fusion. Ankle fusion is a more traditional surgery for ankle arthritis; in this procedure the cartilage is shaved off the bones of the ankle joint, which are then allowed to heal together. This eliminates the painful arthritic surfaces from rubbing on each other, however it comes at the expense of motion. Another downside of fusion of the ankle is that the ankle will be permanently stiff, and can lead to arthritis in adjacent joints. Ankle replacement surgery, however, can reduce this occurrence and allow motion of the ankle. Indeed, after ankle replacement surgery patients will be able to bear weight and walk without pain in the ankle. Most patients can resume daily activities without the use of pain medications .
While there are many pros to ankle replacement surgery, there are cons to consider as well. S...
"Flying isn't fun anymore," my brother-in-law frequently proclaims along with other travelers tired of security checks and crowded seats. I certainly agreed with him while I sat on full plane in New Hampshire for an hour waiting for clearance on my way home from visiting our children and new grandbaby. Flying definitely isn't fun anymore for me because I have lymphedema .
No one explained it to me at the time, but I was at double risk for this condition that causes swelling because I had 24 lymph nodes removed when I had my mastectomy , and I had extensive radiation to my chest and lymph nodes. Sure enough about a year after my cancer treatment ended, one day I noticed that all the creases in my right wrist were gone. Wow! Did I gain weight that fast? Nope, the creases were still there on the left wrist. The surgeon prescribed a compression sleeve to control the swelling.
The sleeve was uncomfortable and didn't help much, but I did get a little better. The next time I saw ...
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