What can a physician do for my ankle pain?
With so many joints and bones in the foot, it’s essential to see a physician for an accurate diagnosis. Use our site to help you find a physician and to prepare for your consultation.
Your physician will ask about your activities, pain, and mobility. It helps to keep a pain journal and refer to it during your doctor’s visit. If you choose a new physician, request to transfer any health records from other doctors you have seen. Your physician may order a computerized tomography scan (CT) of your leg, ankle, and foot. All this information helps your physician make an accurate diagnosis. These questions can help you talk to your physician.
Once your physician makes a diagnosis, you can expect a treatment plan. Most physicians strive to avoid surgery, if possible. The first step in your treatment plan may be steroids and anti-inflammatories, joint fluid supplements, bracing, or physical therapy. If these treatments fail to relieve pain and restore mobility, your physician may recommend fusion surgery.
What is fusion surgery?
The most common surgery is an ankle fusion surgery (arthrodesis). During the fusion surgery, a surgeon prepares the surfaces of the affected bones in the ankle or hindfoot. The next step is to add a material (such as a bone graft) to promote new bone growth. Then the surgeon attaches hardware — wires, screws, or plates — to hold the bones in place while they regrow. This type of surgery has been used for decades to relieve ankle and hindfoot pain.
How does fusion surgery work?
A successful fusion surgery can reduce or relieve pain and improve mobility. The difference between success and failure is whether or not the bones grow together. When bones fuse, it’s called a union. When bones fail to fuse it’s called a nonunion.
Every patient regrows bone differently, and not all fusion surgeries result in successful unions. Until the approval of AUGMENT® Bone Graft in September 2015, ankle and hindfoot fusions after surgery were most likely with an autograft — the gold standard. This process requires a second surgery to harvest bone for a bone graft from the patient’s hip or leg. This second surgery can result in pain and complications. Some patients have had a successful fusion, but have had complications from harvesting the bone.
Now physicians can choose AUGMENT® for their patients. AUGMENT® uses your body’s naturally occurring proteins to impact and initiate healing at the earliest stages. AUGMENT® is proven to work just as well as an autograft, and it comes from a package instead of the patient’s hip or leg.
Before you have ankle or hindfoot fusion surgery, it is important to ask your physician about AUGMENT®. You will have just as good a chance of a union with AUGMENT® as with an autograft. More importantly, you’re spared a second surgery to harvest bone. You’re also spared the pain and complications that can result from harvesting bone.
Am I at risk for a nonunion?
If you have one or more of the following factors, it can decrease your body’s ability to heal and your bones’ ability to regrow, resulting in a nonunion:
If you have any of these factors, it’s especially important to talk to your physician about AUGMENT® Regenerative Solutions.
In the largest ever clinical trial in foot & ankle surgery, 75% of the patients had one or more of these factors. Even so, patients treated with AUGMENT® fared just as well in improvements in clinical outcomes as patients treated with an autograft. The patients treated with AUGMENT® were spared a second surgery to harvest bone and any related complications.
Why fusion surgery?
Your doctor may suggest non-surgical treatment methods for your ankle pain. If these methods relieve your pain, surgery may not be needed. If pain persists, or you have a complex bone deformity, you may need fusion surgery. This common surgery can correct the deformity and relieve pain by fusing bones together. Widely-performed, this treatment is safe and effective. Fusion surgery can liberate you from pain while preserving your ankle’s bone.
What is AUGMENT® Regenerative Solutions?
AUGMENT® is made up of two parts, the carrier and the growth factor.
The β-TCP portion of AUGMENT® (AUGMENT® Injectable also includes collagen to provide flowable handling) has been used for over 32 years to help repair bones located in the limbs, spine and pelvis. It works by providing a framework for bone cells to grow on. The man-made protein (rhPDGF-BB), made from yeast, mimics the proteins found naturally within healthy blood cells. This protein plays a significant role in the body’s natural healing process.
The surgeon mixes the bone-like substance with the rhPDGF-BB. Then, it’s applied to the injured bone to promote healing. The man-made proteins recruit and multiply cells at the fusion site. The proteins also stimulate the recruited cells to multiply. The newly generated cells bring blood and nutrients to the area to repair and grow new bone. Watch the video to see AUGMENT® in action.
Why should my physician choose AUGMENT®?
When your physician chooses AUGMENT®, you benefit in many ways.
- You have the healing power of an autograft but without a second surgery to harvest bone.
- You’re likely to experience fewer complications during and after surgery.
- If you have factors that can slow bone healing, you have the best possible chance to heal without a second surgery to harvest bone.
- AUGMENT® uses your body’s naturally occurring protein to initiate healing at the earliest stages.
- AUGMENT® is proven to have no clinically adverse effects in the largest clinical trial ever conducted for foot and ankle surgery.
- AUGMENT® is specifically approved by the FDA for use in ankle and hindfoot fusion surgery.
What is an autograft?
Until the approval of AUGMENT® in September 2015, ankle and hindfoot fusions after surgery were most likely with an autograft — the gold standard. This process requires a second surgery to harvest bone for a bone graft from the patient’s hip or leg. This second surgery can result in pain and complications. Some patients have had a successful fusion, but have had complications from harvesting the bone.
What is a harvesting procedure?
Harvesting is a surgery during which a surgeon removes bone from another location in the patient’s body to be used as material in the bone graft. Harvesting can result in pain and complications. Some patients have had a successful fusion, but have had complications from harvesting the bone. AUGMENT® eliminates the need for a harvesting procedure.
How do I find a physician?
You can use our physician locator to find a physician in your area.
How do I prepare to talk to my physician?
Use these questions to prepare to talk to your physician about ankle fusion surgery.
How do I request more information?
To request more information about fusion surgery and AUGMENT®, complete this quick and easy form.