Has ankle discomfort made almost every step you take feel unbearable? If non-surgical techniques have not provided adequate pain relief, it is possible that a total ankle replacement may be the next step. Schedule a consultation appointment with our experts at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Greater Columbus today!
Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.
“One of the best doctors I have ever worked with concerning my joint issues. Knowledgeable, patient focused, and takes his time with you. I’ve had 4 joint replacements and he is the best. I would recommend him to anyone needing an ankle replacement.” — Edgar M.
A total ankle replacement, also called ankle arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure used to treat ankle arthritis. If you have ankle arthritis, the neighboring joints usually compensate for the loss of mobility. This reconstructive surgical procedure can help reduce ankle pain, preserve ankle motion, increase joint stability, and protect the other joints in your foot from developing arthritis.
During this specific form of ankle surgery, arthritic portions of your ankle joint will be removed, and the damaged parts will be replaced with prosthetic implants (metal and plastic parts). These new prosthetics will move and work like a healthy, natural ankle joint.
Orthopedic surgeons will only recommend ankle replacement when the following conservative treatments have not been able to manage or relieve pain:
You may qualify as an eligible candidate for an ankle replacement if you have severe ankle arthritis. If you do not qualify, your specialist may recommend other procedures, such as ankle arthroscopy or ankle fusion.
You may not be an eligible candidate for ankle replacement if you:
Typically, ankle replacements are performed under general anesthesia, or you are given a nerve block. Once the anesthetic is rendered:
Typically, the recovery time from a total ankle replacement can range from three months to twelve months. You will have to wear a splint or cast to keep your ankle immobilized. You may also choose to use a walker or crutches to help you avoid putting weight on your ankle. You may also be asked to take medication to help prevent blood clots.
Your surgeon may recommend that you return for follow-up visits and scans to ensure you are healing properly after your ankle replacement. A few weeks after surgery, and when the incisions are healed, you will be informed as to when it’s safe to start physical therapy.
Ankle replacements are generally very successful! According to the Hospital for Special Surgery, “In 90% of cases, the replacement lasts 10 years.” However, as is the case with artificial knee and hip replacements, some people will need to have a second ankle surgery.
To minimize your chances of needing additional surgery, you can:
If you are ready to be in less pain, a total ankle replacement could provide the relief you have been searching for! Schedule a consultation with our foot and ankle specialists at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Columbus, OH to see if this surgical treatment is right for you. Contact us today!
Medically reviewed by Gregory C. Berlet MD, FRCS(C), FAOA