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At the Blue Ridge Bone & Joint Clinic Foot and Ankle Center, we are seeing more patients seeking a long-term solution for ankle osteoarthritis that will allow them to return to the active lifestyles they once enjoyed. Patients today are simply unwilling to give up their mobility and independence.

While results from hip and knee replacements have become reliable over the last 40 years, the ankle has been the "forgotten Over the last 15 years, technological advancements have made total ankle replacement a viable option for patients with ankle arthritis. At the Blue Ridge Bone & Joint Clinic Foot and Ankle Center, we have been performing ankle replacements for more than nine years now. We have recently begun using the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement because of its design features that should allow it to perform better and last longer for patients.

The INBONE™ Total Ankle is designed to mimic the smooth, fluid, up and down movement of a natural ankle. The device consists of two main parts: the tibial component which is anchored within the tibia, or shinbone, and the talar component which is inserted into the talus, or anklebone. Once both parts are installed, the smooth plastic surface of the tibial component rotates effortlessly on the highly polished metal surface of the talar component.

Unlike other ankle replacement options, the INBONE™ Total Ankle has anchoring tibial (shinbone) stems to secure it in place, reducing the likelihood of loosening over time. Surgeons are also able to customize the fit by length and diameter, allowing for a more precise fit and a less invasive installation process with minimal bone removal.

Patients considering the INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement no longer find relief from anti-inflammatory medication and cannot tolerate the constant pain. Ideal candidates for ankle replacement are between the ages of 55 and 80 and do not participate in high impact activities. Most people who have ankle replacement surgery suffer from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or arthritis caused by prior trauma such as a broken ankle. In isolated cases, younger patients may have their ankles replaced.

The procedure typically requires a one night stay in the hospital. The patient's cast will be removed anywhere between four and six weeks post-surgery. Full recovery from a total ankle replacement surgery is expected to take between six and nine months, though patients may begin walking around six weeks after surgery. The INBONE™ Total Ankle Replacement is a great option for many patients whose arthritis can no longer be managed with standard treatments and who want to improve their quality of life.

As foot and ankle specialists, Drs. Allen, Hedrick and Mangone think it is important to provide their patients with information about all available treatment options. They strongly recommend all patients discuss their options in great detail with their treating physician in order to find the treatment solution that is most appropriate for their individual needs.