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Ankle joint preservation surgery

What is ankle joint preservation surgery?

Ankle joint preservation surgery or ankle distraction arthrolysis is a treatment for severe ankle arthritis.

Joint distraction uses the body’s natural healing processes to repair damaged cartilage in the ankle. Often, despite the arthritic joint, younger patients will still have some ankle movement and therefore your consultant may suggest distraction arthrolysis, an innovative, minimally invasive procedure with the objective of preserving and restoring the joint.

Mr Nima Heidari explaining the benefits of joint distraction of the ankle

What does ankle joint preservation surgery involve?

During minimally invasive joint preservation surgery, the bones are gently pulled apart to create space and are fixed using pins and an external frame.

The joint is cleaned and any bone spurs (bony lumps) are removed. In some cases, the hind foot is re-aligned and the Achilles tendon may also need to be lengthened. An external frame is then fixed across the joint which enables it to be distracted (pulled apart) by 5-8 mm. Hinges in the frame mean that you can still move your ankle.

Ankle joint preservation surgery

Foot & ankle consultants

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