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Duke Medical Minutes are produced by local sports radio affiliates, and allow Duke specialists to give a brief snapshot into health offerings at Duke.

In this episode, Samuel B. Adams Jr., MD, director of foot and ankle research at Healthlinerx Orthopaedics, answers questions about ankle arthritis and ankle replacement.

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: We're talking with Dr. Samuel Adams, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Duke, also director of foot and ankle research.

A lot of our listeners might have had a traumatic experience with their ankle, whether it was a sprain, a fracture -- perhaps they've had surgery on that. But time passes, and the body gets older, and what should they be looking out for?

Adams: They should be concerned about ankle arthritis, and ankle arthritis is similar to arthritis in other joints of the body in which the cartilage on the bones of the joint gets worn down until you're making bone-on-bone contact, and this contact can become very painful.

Announcer: Can you replace the ankle?

Adams: You can, and that's something that we're doing a lot of here at Duke. Ankle replacement is very similar to hip or knee replacement in which we replace both sides of the joint with metal components separated by a plastic insert.

And this allows the patient to have preserved ankle range of motion, as opposed to older treatment methods, such as ankle fusion, in which we lock the bones together.

Announcer: So, after rehab we're talking about being free to have all the motion you might have had in the past.

Adams: Yes, that is correct. Usually we base it on the amount of motion that you come in and see us with is about the kind of motion that you'll get after the replacement.

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