Ankle Distraction Arthroplasty
Ankle distraction arthroplasty is a newer surgery that may restore the joint and delay the need for an ankle replacement.
Ankle distraction is most often used in younger patients who want to prolong the life of their ankle joint before needing a joint replacement or ankle fusion.
The joint surfaces are pulled apart and held with an external fixator (Ilizarov technique) for two or three months, giving the joint cartilage time to heal. This technique may restore space to the ankle joint.
This surgery has been used in Europe for many years, but was only recently adopted in the U.S. The orthopedic surgeons at The Peninsula Ankle Center have sub-specialty training in Ilizarov and spatial frame techniques used in ankle distraction.