Medical Minute 12-10: Fixing Worn Out Ankles

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

For historical architect Grimsley Hobbs, there's something inspiring about an old building with great infrastructure. But after more than 50 active years, his own bones were really giving him trouble.

"I can endure pain pretty well. But it was just you couldn't, I couldn't walk. couldn't walk any distance, I couldn't run anymore, I couldn't hike, had to use a cane," said Hobbs.

X-rays showed osteoarthritis in both ankles, bone grinding against bone. Traditional treatment, fusing the ankle joint in a fixed position.

"An ankle fusion although it helped with pain relief, gave patients a lot of limitations."

"I was just terrified," said Hobbs.

Instead of fusing the joint, Dr. Selene Parekh offered him a brand new one. Duke surgeons were among the first to test new implant technology, three- piece metal and plastic prostheses, designed to mimic normal ankle movement.

Placed through the front of the ankle, the implant is designed for a secure fit with less removal of bone, which can be key to long term success.

"These results seem very promising with survivorships and success rates of about 85 to 95 percent," said Selene G. Parekh, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Duke University Health System.

After having both ankles replaced in the last two years, Hobbs still has some healing to do. But he already feels the difference. A busy man with big plans for the future doing more, with less pain.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Tiandra GreyDuke University Health System(919) 403-5180

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