Arthritis treatment: osteochondral plug replacement
Cartilage damage can often lead to a painful case of ankle arthritis and will therefore affect the patient’s quality of life. Depending on the type of activity, patients will begin to notice restrictions in their movement. A mosaicplasty (OATS) can restore complete joint function.
Especially for patients with a painful case of arthritis, this type of treatment can be very effective. The treatment itself is rather complex but full joint mobility can be restored at the end. The patient will be completely able to use their ankle after surgery.
During the surgery, intact osteochondral plugs are transplanted from healthy, non-weight bearing locations to the damaged areas. This protects the joint and ensures full function. Often during surgery a bone will need to be cut. In cases where the lateral edge of the ankle has been damaged, it may be necessary to replace the bone there. At the end of the operation, this new piece of bone will be fused into place. This type of surgery is useful in cases of ankle arthritis and necrosis.
Proper care after
It is important that you afford yourself the necessary time to rest after surgery. For at least six weeks, the affected ankle should not bear any weight. However, physical therapy should begin the day after surgery to promote proper joint functionality. Until everything is completely healed (approximately 10 to 14 days after surgery) a special splint should be worn.