There was a South Dakota history making surgery at CORE Orthopedics Avera Medical Group, formerly Orthopaedic Consultants/Alvine Foot and Ankle Center in Sioux Falls. We have more on a new kind of total ankle replacement surgery for this country and it was performed in Sioux Falls on November 3rd.
The STAR (Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement) has been used in Europe for 17 years. It was FDA approved in the U.S. in May of 2009 and Dr. Greg Alvine at the newly named CORE (Center of Regional Excellence) Orthopedic Avera Medical Group was the first surgeon in the state and region to use it. Agility ankle replacements have been the ankle replacement of choice in this country for 20 years, but Dr. Alvine says it's great to have options with new technology.
Dr. Alvine says, "There is a little more that you have to fuse more bones, you have to cut the sidewalls out, and it's semi-constrained. The STAR ankle as you can see the tibia component it just rests on the tibia there are no sidewalls. The talus is capped which gives a broader service for the talus to rest on. More importantly, when you move your ankle as you can see in the model you can see how there is a swivel in the plastic bearing that is supposed to lead to less bearing wear. The big question in the long run is it going to be better and we just don't know."
The STAR is the only mobile bearing unit on the market, but a similar model has been used in knee replacements for years.
Dr. Alvine says, "If patient has had a deformity or is overweight we would lean toward the agility ankle that has the sidewalls and gives more constraint. The STAR is for other patients who are lighter weight but more importantly has NO ankle bone deformities."
If an arthritic ankle has been your Achilles heel, you don't plan on doing any marathons or climbing Mt. Rainier the STAR may be the technology you were looking for and now you need look no further.
By the way, the patient who got the first STAR ankle replacement is doing well and will go home from the hospital tomorrow, but he will have to stay off that foot for 3 weeks.
For more information call 877-AT-AVERA or visit: www.ortho-consultants.com