What is a total ankle replacement?
Also known as ankle arthroplasty, a total ankle replacement is a surgical procedure to remove a damaged ankle joint and replace it with plastic or metal components. The artificial joint, called a prosthesis, moves the same way a natural joint does.
Why would I need an ankle replacement?
Like other joint replacements, ankle arthroplasty treats advanced arthritis and severe fractures. Ankle arthritis can cause severe symptoms like pain, inflammation, and stiffness that lead to difficulty walking. Arthritis of the ankle can arise from wear-and-tear damage that occurs with aging, a previous injury that didn’t heal properly, or a disease like rheumatoid arthritis. An ankle replacement isn’t usually the first line of treatment for arthritis. The Tier 1 Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Institute team explores conservative approaches like physical therapy and medications before recommending surgery. In some cases, ankle arthroscopy or ankle fusion may be a better option.
What should I expect from ankle replacement surgery?
The Tier 1 Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Institute team explains the details of your specific procedure, including how to prepare and what type of anesthesia you will receive. They may perform the ankle replacement using open surgery, robotic surgery, or a minimally invasive technique. During an ankle replacement procedure, your surgeon makes an incision and removes the damaged parts of your ankle. Then, they insert the prosthetic joint and check the range of motion and alignment before closing the incision.
What is recovery like after an ankle replacement?
Physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation after an ankle replacement. Additionally, you may receive physical therapy before your procedure to help you prepare for surgery and promote a strong recovery. Tier 1 Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Institute conveniently offers on-site physical therapy so you can receive all the care you need under one roof. Recovery from an ankle replacement can take 6-12 months. You may wear a splint or cast to immobilize your ankle and use a walker or crutches for support during this time. If you think you might need an ankle replacement, call Tier 1 Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Institute, or request an appointment online today.