Moving over the ankle joint, we’re very excited about the new treatment options for our patients with ankle pain and problems. We have created an entire ankle treatment clinic environment to help our patients who are experiencing ankle pain (including problems such as a sprained ankle, ankle fracture, twisted ankle, high ankle sprain, ankle swelling and ankle joint pain).
As is often the case, when the patient is struggling to explain their specific problem in the ankle, we almost always know where to start helping them. So, for example, patients if the patient says ankle sprain or ankle swelling, an ankle that gives out, an ankle that catches, an ankle that aches at the end of the day or only at nighttime, we know that all of these descriptions usually involve similar problems. So, we will start by offering oral anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots which can reduce ankle pain and push the surgery off into the future if that’s helpful to the patient.
Related to all of this is that fact that all medical specialties, including podiatry, have benefited from the science of arthroscopy. Specifically, the treatment of ankle problems has greatly improved now that we can scope the ankle just like the knee. The technology is really just a little TV camera. And, it’s literally, we don’t have to open it up, it’s two little holes in the front of the ankle joint here. You put the scope in and you can actually see what’s wrong with the ankle once you’re inside the ankle joint with the camera.
Along with the arthroscopy scope and MRI (to check out the ligaments and tendons), we also have some new treatment options with new biologics and injectables that have been developed as a result of stem cell therapy research. Specifically, we can put these materials inside the ankle joint after surgery to make it heal faster and possibly regenerate cartilage in the joint often eliminating any residual joint pain.