A successful study in the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery that describes a new ankle replacement technique, that involves the use of a collagen-like material, is going to be published later this year. This pioneering idea came from Daniel K. Lee, who is the director of foot and ankle surgery at UCSD Medical Center.
Classically, most ankle replacements are made from metals like titanium or steel. While knee and hip replacements made from these materials have been incredibly successful, ankle replacements have been plagued by fractures and other complications.
Here is more on the new technique from a UC press release:
During a two hour minimally-invasive surgical procedure, Lee, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon, removes the damaged cartilage around the ankle joint through a four centimeter incision. The collagen material is then molded into the joint where it adapts to the contour of the patient’s ankle.
“Unlike a metal device, the advantage to this material is that the implant can be customized in size and contour for every patient’s individual need,” said Lee. “No matter how the patient’s ankle is shaped, the collagen is a perfect fit.”
The biologic material, processed from either human or animal collagen sources, has been used for more than 10 years in plastic and abdominal surgery and heart valve replacement. Since it is non-allergenic and sterile in nature, there is no risk of rejection or need for the patient to take immunosupressors.
…”Within three weeks after surgery, we see an incorporation of tissue onto the damaged cartilage,” said Lee. “The idea here is to avoid fusion of the ankle and to add longevity to the joint. We want to give patients as much mobility as possible so they can get back to the activities they love the most.”
Read more here…