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.

Image Credit: HIT Consultant 

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.”

The entire world is going digital, and so too is your healthcare system. For the past two decades, digital disruption is aiming to save lives via the introduction of applications that will facilitate tracking of critical parameters. These days, with devices like the smartphone, there are apps that track your sleep, track your mood, track your steps, track your heartbeat, track anything that you can think of. With the right applications, many lives can be saved. As a consumer, one of the key things that you’ll have to fit into your routine at some point, is the key decision making point: What is the best healthcare app for my health condition. In many instances, you can ask your doctor to recommend an app. In other instances, you can empower yourself as an individual and decide that you want to do your research, and download apps according to your personal decision matrix. Here are a few pointers that you can factor into your research, in order to choose the best app for your needs. 

As a starting disclaimer, an app is best used as a guide to your body’s operational activities. It is not intended to replace any doctor’s visits. It is actually intended to even assist in the discussion with your specialists, when you go into the office for a consultation. Apps that you utilize: 

  1. Must be compliant with the healthcare system’s abiding laws. Depending on your region, in your research process, you can go through the process of identifying the key regional bodies that set the mandate for healthcare in the region, and enquire if the app is compliant with that system. If yes, you can download the app with assurance. If not, you are better off either not downloading that app, or utilizing extra caution in the process of using the app. 
  2. Seek the recommendation of other patients. Studies have shown that only 2% of healthcare apps are being utilized by patients. Research into why this is so, tends to identify root causes such as the patients thought the app was too complicated to use on a daily basis. Additionally, patients were under the impression that if their vital signs were barely changing, why would they have to keep checking them every day. With root causes like this, the pool of health care app innovators is realizing that they need to make the tools more appealing to the customer base. There are some apps that have high acclaim, so just ensure that when you are purchasing, you seek the ratings of other users who have tested the product before. 
  3. Decide what type of medical app you are going to download. In the application realm, the medical apps have been classified to be in one of four main categories: Diagnosis chatbots, Mobile medication alerts, Phone-to-text capabilities, Geolocation or geofencing. The apps are then designed to provide features like clinical assistance – and will enable you to access your medical records, laboratory results and charts, as well as to check your symptoms. These act like assistants to your doctor as your final conditions are being diagnosed. Scheduling and reminder apps will help you to stay on top of your appointments and your medicine intake. Health and lifestyle apps will help you to track your vital signs and ensure that you are on top of your diet and general fitness. Knowing what you’ll need, will help to guide you as you decide what you want to do. 

With these features, you are now competent enough to start doing your due diligence. With the advent of the internet, you can now take the time to determine what options will work best for you. Health is your wealth, and taking the time each week to look after yourself, and ensure that you are well is critical to ensuring that you are the best version of yourself. 

With medical devices and applications, you are well on your way to ensuring that you are staying at peak. Imagine a world, where your smart home will be linked to your smart phone or watch, which then is linked to your baseline health tracking. All of these systems will then be in a position to determine when your next doctor’s appointments should be, and even find a slot in your schedule to ensure that you can have your check up. 


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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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