Distraction arthroplasty for ankle osteoarthritis
Leg Length Inequality
There are many treatment options for patients with ankle osteochondral defects and subsequent osteoarthritis. Although ankle arthrodesis remains the gold standard to definitive treatment of this condition, its permanent sequelae demands an alternative. In this article we discuss a case report from a 61-year-old woman with a history of a previous ankle sprain resulting in an osteochondral defect that progressed to develop ankle osteoarthritis. After multiple attempts at conservative management, the patient underwent placement of an articulating external ring fixator for arthrodiastasis, as well as ankle joint resurfacing using allograft. The fixator was kept in place for a total of 12 weeks, with the patient performing range-of-motion exercises throughout the treatment course. We feel that this treatment presents as a promising treatment alternative based on the success demonstrated by this patient's 6-month follow-up. The patient has reported a decease in ankle joint pain, increased range of motion, and a return to normal daily activity without limitation.