Mercy Health Offers Ankle Replacement Surgery, Which is Becoming the Preferred Treatment Option to Restore Mobility and Relieve Pain

(CINCINNATI; June 3, 2015) – The older we get, the more familiar we tend to become with hip and knee replacements. But did you know that ankle replacements are not only on the rise but available locally from Mercy Health, which provides advanced, quality care with compassion in your neighborhood through its care network?

John Linz, MD, a foot and ankle specialist who’s an orthopaedic surgeon with Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, a partner of Mercy Health, offers ankle replacements for the right patients.

“The same things the plague hips and knees – age, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fractures and other injuries – also affect ankles, causing pain and loss of mobility as cartilage wears away, leaving bone to grind on bone. This can affect even the most routine of everyday activities, such as standing, walking and taking the stairs,” says Dr. Linz. “Active patients in their 50s and 60s with ankle damage who have good circulation and no issues with neuropathy or obesity may wish to consider an ankle replacement to live pain-free and maintain their lifestyles.”

Even though ankle replacements have been available for over three decades, fusion was previously the top treatment option for damaged ankle joints. To fuse an ankle, an orthopaedic surgeon removes the joint and fuses the shin bone, or tibia, to the ankle’s talus bone. While the procedure removes the pain caused by bone grinding on bone, it also leaves the ankle immobile, which can impair the patient’s ability to move. Think about going up the stairs without flexing your ankle to get a sense of what it might be like to live with a fused ankle.

As ankle joint replacements have benefitted from technological advancements, including long-term durability, they are gaining in popularity, with many FDA-approved models now available. During total ankle replacement surgery, the surgeon will make an incision on the front portion of the ankle, remove the arthritic bone and cartilage from the tibia and talus and fit the implant to create a new ankle joint with smooth motion. Recovery may involve a hospital stay and most patients will start some non-weightbearing range of motion activities before introducing weightbearing activities a few weeks after surgery.

Dr. Linz uses the Prophecy system, the only image-guided navigation system available, which can decrease the patient’s time in the operating room and help ensure accurate alignment of the joint replacement.

“Positioning implants correctly and with accuracy is important to both improving the patient’s quality of life after surgery and for the lifespan of the implants used for ankle replacement,” says Dr. Linz.

If you would like to learn more about your options for treating ankle pain, please contact Dr. Linz. He practices from the following two locations:

Mercy Health - Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, Anderson
7575 Five Mile Road 
Cincinnati, OH 45230-4346

Mercy Health - Wellington Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine, Eastgate
4440 Glen Este Withamsville Road Suite 500
Cincinnati, OH 45245-1318