Once disparaged as borderline quackery, the total ankle replacement is gaining acceptance as a treatment for crippling arthritis and serious injuries. For years, doctors discouraged patients from getting the procedure — called ankle arthroplasty — because of persistent controversy over the earliest techniques, which involved cementing metal ankle reconstruction devices to bone. Sometimes the parts loosened prematurely or caused infections, leaving patients in worse shape than before.
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Ankle replacement was once disparaged as borderline quackery. No longer.