New hope for painful ankles

If you have ever sprained your ankle then you know that the pain can be excruciating. When you sprain your ankle the ligaments inside of it twist or stretch away from their normal position. For most of us the pain of a sprained ankle only lasts for a couple of days then we are up and about with hardly any lasting effects but what do you do when a sprain is more then a sprain?

An article posted September 16, 2011 on tells us about a “New Twist on Ankle Surgery” which may offer hope for some.

Sometimes an ankle sprain does more damage then just stretching the ligaments out of place instead the ligaments stretch so far and so hard that they actually create a “pothole” on the bone. When this happens chronic and constant pain is often the result.

“Typically, this is related to trauma, so if your ankle sprains or you twist it, two bones impact each other, and a little piece of bone and cartilage gets displaced,” Selene Parekh, M.D., a orthopedic surgeon at Duke University, explained.

In the past there was little that medicine could do for those suffering this injury but a new technique may be the answer.  Duke orthopedic surgeon doctor Selene Parekh is using a new technology, a graft made from juvenile cadaver tissue, surgically placed to fill the hole.

“It’s little pieces of cartilage, and we pick them up with tweezers, and we just place them into the base of the pothole, and we use human glue, and we glue that into the pothole,” Dr. Parekh said.

After about 7 months the allograft procedure is done the cartridge grows into a solid and the “pothole” is repaired.

Although it is too soon to know for sure doctors hope that the new allograft procedure will be a permanent fix for patients who suffer from serious ankle lesions avoiding ankle replacement surgery.  

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