The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Patients Beat Pain with INBONE Ankle Replacement

Posted by on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015


We’ve come a long way from the days when the only chance at a pain-free existence was for patients to live with a poorly functioning fused ankle for the rest of their lives. For former athletes and people accustomed to active lifestyles, this was a devastating blow. But now, INBONE® ankle implants are giving end-stage arthritis patients improved quality of life and a full range of motion. The Center of Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC is pleased to offer the latest and greatest innovations in ankle replacement science.

ankle arthritis treatment
A reprieve from severe ankle arthritis pain.
Image Source: Oxfordian Kissuth via

What Is the INBONE® Total Ankle Replacement System?

The INBONE® Total Ankle System by Wright Medical debuted in 2005 as the first total ankle system that used the vertical axis of a patient’s shinbone for more accurate positioning and better range of motion. Constructed of a combination of plastic and metal, physicians can customize the implant based on a patient’s size and unique bone structure for a more precise fit.

Wright Medical Group INBONE ankle replacement reduces pain without compromising mobility.

How Does INBONE® Ankle Surgery Compare to Traditional Surgery?

With a traditional ankle replacement, the patient receives an external fixator – a device that uses pins and screws that protrude from the ankle to separate the bones and prevent friction. Wearing the fixator for three weeks gives cartilage the space and time to stabilize and rebuild. Next, patients transition to a walking boot and participate in six weeks of physical therapy.

With the INBONE® total ankle replacement, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the ankle. Then tendons and nerves are pulled to the side, so a section of the tibia and talus can be removed, along with all the arthritic bone. After stretching the ankle joint, the surgeon drills a couple of small holes in the bottom of the tibia and the top of the talus and inserts the INBONE® implant.

Recovery involves a cast for two to four weeks, then a walking boot and crutches for two to three months. Physical therapy during the entire process ensures that patients maintain range of motion as the body adapts to the new implant. It takes time for muscles that haven’t been used in years to regain strength, but patients will see improvements from week to week. Most patients say they are walking unassisted and “completely pain-free” within four months.

Patients Offer Enthusiastic Reviews of the INBONE® Ankle Implant

One INBONE® ankle implant patient, Susan Lively, told the New Jersey Star-Ledger that her troubles began in 2009 when she stepped off a curb and twisted her right ankle. This seemingly innocuous sprain was more severe than she initially thought and led to the development of acute arthritis that eventually wore down the cartilage between her bones. She underwent several traditional surgeries to no avail. Then, in 2013, she heard about the new INBONE total ankle replacement and decided to give it a go. She recovered better than expected and has been enjoying life more than ever since her surgery. On a recent cruise to the Bahamas, she was able to take long walks, shop, dance, and do everything she wanted to do. “The only thing I haven’t done is climb a mountain or run a marathon,” Lively said.

Patients Are Carefully Screened Prior to INBONE® Ankle Implant Surgery

While this type of ankle replacement may sound like a dream come true, it’s not for everyone. Typically, INBONE® ankle implant surgery is NOT recommended for patients who:

– Weigh more than 300 pounds (the implant cannot bear the weight)

– Smoke (smoking decreases blood flow and impedes recovery)

– Have Diabetes (open wounds are less likely to heal, and lower extremity infections can be devastating)

The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in New York offers a number of innovative treatments, aside from total ankle replacement surgeries. Even if you are not a candidate for this particular therapy, there is still a good chance we can alleviate your day-to-day pain. Click here to book a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor at either our Manhattan or Westchester location.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.