Happy Feet During the Christmas Season: 2022 Edition

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. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7376580/#:~:text=In%20a%20significantly%20larger%20series,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.

Image Credits: Freepik

“The cheerful mind perseveres, and the strong mind hews its way through a thousand difficulties.” – Swami Vivekananda

Authors: Gordon Slater| Tandose Sambo

As the Christmas holidays approach us, happy thoughts flow through us, and we start the process of running around to ensure that all is in order for the festive season. All the festivities of the year require us to be mobile and be on our feet. The various elements of the Christmas season include: holiday shopping for presents, decorating our homes and making them more festive, baking Christmas cake and other holiday goodies, preparing for hosting our dinner parties, and celebrating the New Year. The list definitely goes on…and 100% of all these activities…require the presence and utilisation of our feet. 

As we embark on yet another year to close, in 2022, one of the things that we should all consider is the happiness of our feet.  Even in a gathering of just your family this season, you will do a lot walking, possibly dancing, and sitting at the dinner table as the holidays progress. Foot pain does not go away just because it’s the holiday season, so it will be important to ensure that you are taking the time to take care of your feet. For happy and healthy feet during the season, here’s your action plan to ensure that you can focus on the people that you love, and all the fun that you will have during the holidays. 

Here is the recipe for well rejuvenated feet during the holiday season: 

Exercise:  As the quarantine has lifted in 2022, many of us are no longer predominantly working from home. We have returned to our offices, and the majority of us work at our desks. Sitting for long hours at a desk can take a toll on your feet. Every few hours, you can take a stretch break, and ensure that you are improving your circulation. At the end of the work day, take the time to elevate your feet, so that the circulation can flow from your feet, back to your heart. Where possible, during your lunch time, you can take the time to go for walks at your nearby park. As you walk, wear foot weights, so that you’ll be able to induce some resistance into the walking exercise.

Foot Massages:  After the pandemic, the majority of us have all mastered the art of the at home spa. At home massages, or even scheduled professional foot massages can work wonders to relieve stress, and to improve the circulation in your feet. As you are relaxing for the day, take the time to actually massage your feet with some essential oils. Utilising scents that are relaxing, including lavender, will help to keep you relaxed. In the instance that you want to feel more festive, a little peppermint oil will enhance your Christmas experience. Warm temperatures dilate your blood vessels, and baths and showers will improve your overall circulation.  

Have a Pedicure: This season is the perfect time to book a pedicure. Taking the time to pamper yourself prior to the Christmas rush, is the perfect way to prepare to celebrate the holiday season. Think of it as the calm, before the Christmas rush. The routine pedicure process will ensure that you are keeping your toes in great condition, and preventing ingrown toenails. If you prefer to have your own pamper sessions, you can always get the essentials for your pedicure from your local pharmacy. Set aside one day in the week, such as Sundays, to allow yourself to pamper your feet. Have an Epsom salt soak for a few minutes, and then tackle clipping your toenails, applying nail polish (where necessary), applying cuticle oil, and allowing your toes to breathe. 

Prevention is Better Than Cure: The path to great orthopaedic foot health is wearing the right shoes. There are great shoes for daily activities such as walking, and great shoes for athletics. Make sure that you invest in high quality shoes, in order to prevent downstream foot problems. There are some orthopaedic foot conditions that are lifestyle induced. For example, hammertoes are actually induced by wearing shoes that are too small, or heels that are too high. For elevation with comfort, opt for shoes with wedges that will balance your weight evenly. 

These holiday tips should help you have happy feet in a fabulous holiday season in 2022! Of course if you do have pain, feel free to consult with your orthopaedic specialist. 

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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.

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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.

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