Question:It looks like the new ankle joint I had put in two years ago isn't going to make it. Infection and bone fracture around the implant spells failure. I have another appointment with my doctor next week but I'm trying to find out what my options might be, Do you have any ideas?
There may be a chance for revision of the implant. The doctor may be able to just remove and replace the damaged implant. Bone grafting may be required to replace bone lost to infection.
Imaging studies will be done to see how much damage there is and what kind of condition the rest of the bone is in. Another option is ankle fusion. Bone chips harvested from your pelvis are placed around the joint. Bone will grow in and around the fresh bone. You'll lose motion in the joint but gain stability.
As fast as the technology is changing, there may be more options a few years down the road. The doctor will advise you in which option today will preserve or salvage the joint and possibly allow you to take advantage of future developments.Nelson F. SooHoo, MD, and Gerald Kominski, PhD. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Total Ankle Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 11. Pp. 2446-2455.
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