Total ankle replacement in end-stage osteoarthritis (OA)

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent degenerative joint disease characterized by the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints and the underlying bone. It is one of the most common forms of arthritis and often affects weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, and spine, as well as the hands and feet(ankle).

The primary symptom of OA is pain, which typically worsens with activity and improves with rest. Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the affected joint are also common, especially after periods of inactivity. As the condition progresses, individuals may experience joint swelling, tenderness, and the development of bone spurs around the affected joint.

Several factors contribute to the development of OA, including age, genetics, joint injury or overuse, obesity, and other underlying health conditions such as metabolic disorders. While OA is more prevalent among older adults, it can also affect younger individuals, particularly those with a history of joint injuries or certain genetic predispositions.

Diagnosis of OA often involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, imaging tests such as X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and sometimes joint fluid analysis. Treatment strategies aim to relieve pain, improve joint function, and enhance quality of life. These may include lifestyle modifications such as weight management and exercise, physical therapy, pain medications, joint injections with corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid, and in severe cases, surgical interventions like joint replacement surgery.

A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted on modern total ankle replacements (TARs) to understand their success rates, overall outcomes, potential complications, X-ray results, and the range of motion achievable by patients with advanced ankle osteoarthritis (OA) who undergo this surgery.

The study demonstrates that Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) has a positive impact on patients’ lives, with benefits lasting ten years, as judged by improvement in pain and function, as well as improved gait and increased range of movement.

A seasoned orthopedic surgeon and foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Mohammad Athar welcomes patients at the offices of Complete Orthopedics in Queens / Long Island. Fellowship trained in both hip and knee reconstruction, Dr. Athar has extensive expertise in both total hip replacements and total knee replacements for arthritis of the hip and knee, respectively. As an orthopedic surgeon, he also performs surgery to treat meniscal tears, cartilage injuries, and fractures. He is certified for robotics assisted hip and knee replacements, and well versed in cutting-edge cartilage replacement techniques.
In addition, Dr. Athar is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle specialist, which has allowed him to accrue a vast experience in foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, new cartilage replacement techniques, and minimally invasive foot surgery. In this role, he performs surgery to treat ankle arthritis, foot deformity, bunions, diabetic foot complications, toe deformity, and fractures of the lower extremities. Dr. Athar is adept at non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal conditions in the upper and lower extremities such as braces, medication, orthotics, or injections to treat the above-mentioned conditions.