Dr. Aaron J. Guyer, an orthopedic surgeon at TOC specializing in foot and ankle surgery, recently appeared on the Greg Tish Show on Real Talk 93.3.
Dr. Guyer explained that ankle replacement surgery is rare, especially when compared to other joint replacement surgeries such as hip and knee replacements. He noted that ankle replacement surgery has become more popular only within the last 15-20 years, which is why most people are unfamiliar with the surgery. Dr. Guyer has been performing ankle replacements for about 15 years in Tallahassee, and said he trained with someone who developed one of the first modern ankle replacements.
Dr. Guyer explained that the treatment for a patient’s ankle arthritis is based on the patient’s pain/inability to function properly, and that surgery is a last resort. When asked if arthritis is preventable and if there are ways to help arthritis besides medication, Dr Guyer explained that there isn’t much you can do to prevent the arthritis from developing. However, he did explain things you can do to feel more comfortable and ease pain. He advised that certain physical therapy, weight loss and cortisone injections can help ease pain.
When asked what arthritis is, Dr Guyer clarified that arthritis is when the cartilage on the joint breaks down and causes the rough bones to rub against each other. Additionally, Dr Guyer explained the healing process for an ankle replacement surgery. He said that for about three weeks the patient will be in a cast, then a removable boot for the next three weeks. After the six-week-mark, the patient can start walking and going to physical therapy, and it takes on average 10 weeks for a patient to be able to live life normally again.