Physician's Resources: Ankle Joint Preservation

Joint Preservation consists of preserving the articular surface of the talus and the distal tibia. In patients with damage to the articular surface of the talus, a frozen articular bone graft can be applied to the affected area followed by distraction of the ankle joint for 6-8 weeks.

This technique can be performed in young patients rather than an ankle fusion or ankle joint replacement (implant).

Joint Preservation buys the patient more time until a better implant is developed and in patients which ankle joint motion is extremely necessary for everyday activity.


External fixation on the short metatarsal

Distracted external fixation lengthening the short metatarsal

K-wire inserted through the metatarsal joint

External fixation on the short metatarsal

Distracted external fixation lengthening the short metatarsal

K-wire inserted through the metatarsal joint
Case Presentation: Construction worker with constant painful ankle aggravated by prolonged walking and standing. Conservative measures were exhausted like intra-articular steroid injections and immobilization.
Outcome: Successful host-graft consolidation, placement of external fixation to prevent joint compression while healing. This technique is an alternative to ankle fusion or ankle replacement. Removal of the fixator was in 8 weeks followed by physical therapy.
*Personal result will be discussed with possible candidates per request.