Ankle osteoarthritis is a condition that causes pain and stiffness in the ankle joint. Traditional treatments like joint fusion can limit mobility. An alternative procedure called ankle distraction arthroplasty has been gaining some traction, but how well does it hold up in the long term? 

A recent study by Greenfield et al. (2019) investigated this very question. They conducted a survival analysis of ankle distraction arthroplasty for ankle osteoarthritis. Their findings suggest that this procedure may be a viable option for some patients. 

Key takeaways from the study: 

  • Ankle distraction arthroplasty showed promising results, with an 84% survival rate at 5 years. This is better than some previously reported outcomes. 
  • The study also identified factors that can influence the success of the procedure. Avascular necrosis of the talus (bone death) was associated with a lower survival rate. Additionally, sex may play a role, with the study suggesting potential gender differences in long-term outcomes. 

What this means for patients: 

Ankle distraction arthroplasty offers a potential option for preserving joint mobility in patients with ankle osteoarthritis. This study provides valuable data for surgeons and patients to consider when making treatment decisions. 

Important to note: 

  • This was a retrospective study, meaning researchers analyzed past data. More robust research designs are needed to confirm these findings. 
  • The study involved a relatively small group of patients. Larger studies are necessary to draw more definitive conclusions. 

Overall, this research suggests that ankle distraction arthroplasty may be a valuable tool for treating ankle osteoarthritis. However, more research is needed to solidify its place as a standard treatment option. 

ReferenceGreenfield, S., Matta, K. M., McCoy, T. H., Rozbruch, S. R., & Fragomen, A. (2019). Ankle distraction arthroplasty for ankle osteoarthritis: a survival analysis. Strategies in trauma and limb reconstruction, 14(2), 65.,and%2037%25%20within%205%20years


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional to discuss your individual treatment options.

mage Credit: The New York Times 

“Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; …and not today’s pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man.”
James H. West

The coronavirus pandemic, is one that has taken the world by storm. For the majority of 2020 thus far, individuals and organizations have had to limit operations and stay safe in their circles of influence. For those who have contracted the virus, however, there is an interesting phenomenon that is now evolving in the foot and ankle realm. 

Doctors are now seeing an increase in chilblains, now called “COVID toes” because of their prevalence during this time. COVID toes are painful red or purple lesions that affect the extremities of the limbs. They are usually formed on the fingers or the toes. As a condition that is prevalent predominantly in the winter, the coronavirus seems to be also inducing internal conditions that cause COVID toes to appear year round. 

As the number of cases of COVID toes increases, there is a cause of concern in the orthopaedic realm. Many persons have never experienced cases like this. In a time where many occurrences are new to the majority of us, COVID toes, which are inflammations that form in the small blood vessels of our extremities, are phenomenon to be aware of if you are a patient with COVID-19, or treating someone who has the condition. As the concern about COVID toes rises, it is important to be educated on the subject matter. 

Indications of COVID toes

When COVID toes are created in the body, the inflammation is a sign that there is an infection in the body attributed to the coronavirus. While the most prominent signs of COVID-19 are predominantly associated with the respiratory system, the presence of the chilblains or COVID toes, is a direct sign that the patient is afflicted with COVID-19. 

As the number of cases of COVID toes increases, there is a drive to include the condition on the list of anticipated symptoms of COVID-19. If these lesions develop, there should be solid grounds to test the patient for the presence of COVID-19 in the system. Medical research over the past few months has indicated that with the COVID toes, there have been lesions located on regions such as the Achilles heels and even the soles of the feet. 

General Symptoms of the Coronavirus :

If you have the Coronavirus, you will exhibit either all or the majority of the following symptoms: 

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • COVID Toes 

It is very important for all of us to understand the symptoms of the Coronavirus. As a condition that is now impacting the globe, being aware of persons around us, is very important. From the Cleveland Clinic, the following statement was made by one of their specialists:

“These symptoms seem to be more common in COVID-19 compared with all other viral infections. But at this time, they haven’t affected a majority of people. So, the symptoms that people should be looking for are really a fever, cough and muscle aches that you can get when you have a viral infection. Those are the most common symptoms — and those are the things that people should be keeping on their radar.”

Why pay attention to COVID toes? 

COVID toes is one of the new phenomenon that is evolving with the knowledge of the symptoms and root causes of the coronavirus. As a new symptom, it is one of those that now emerging, and is an indicator that the virus does perform differently in a variety of patients. As a general indicator of a viral infection, a rash or blotchy area on the body is a sign that the body is reacting to an internal infection. COVID toes are identified as another way that the body can respond to a viral infection. What remains to be identified now, is the correlation between the generation of COVID toes, and the severity of the virus in the body.

As an uncommon, yet emerging phenomenon, make sure you’re aware of your entire body’s symptoms if you are to develop the coronavirus. As a general preventative measure, ensure that you are eating right. The best way to help your body to have a speedy recovery, and even prevent diseases such as the coronavirus, is to ensure that you are taking care of your immune system. 


  1. Cleveland Clinic:
  2. New York Times:

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Dr. Gordon Slater

Dr. Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions.

Leave a comment

Dr Gordon Slater is a highly-skilled surgeon specialising in foot and ankle conditions and sports injuries. Dr Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions. MIS  has many advantages including shorter operating times, reduced post-operative pain, reduced risk of infection, minimal scarring and better cosmetic outcomes.

Copyright © 2022