Total Ankle Replacement
Our ankles are one of the hardest working parts of our bodies. They bear and distribute our weight every time we stand and move—and they do so in a way that’s easy for us to take for granted.
Ankle joints are extremely tough and durable by demand, but they are not invincible. The joint can wear out, become arthritic, or suffer a debilitating injury.
In cases where an ankle causes chronic pain or interferes with one’s mobility, total ankle replacement surgery may be a viable option for restoring comfort and movement.
What Is Total Ankle Replacement Surgery?
A total ankle replacement procedure replaces the damaged bone and cartilage in an ankle joint with artificial prosthetics. These artificial joints are typically made from very strong plastic and metal parts.
Dr. Spencer Niemann is our resident ankle replacement specialist, and he has been trained on four specific brands of implants:
- IN-BONE-Wright Medical
The primary goals of a total ankle replacement are to relieve chronic pain and preserve motion of the ankle.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Total Ankle Replacement?
Total ankle replacement is not an ideal option for everyone. Most candidates who are considered for the procedure:
- Are either at an end stage of arthritis, have chronic ankle instability, or have suffered multiple ankle fractures.
- Weigh less than 250 pounds.
- Are more than 50 years old.
- Have no hindfoot deformity.
- Do not have additional medical problems that might cause complications, such as diabetes.
If you are not an ideal candidate for total ankle replacement, we will discuss other potential options that can help you manage pain and maintain mobility.
What Can I Expect Before and After Total Ankle Replacement Surgery?
Before a surgery, your primary care physician and our office will review the surgery procedure, as well as all the risks and benefits it may entail. We wish to ensure everyone, including you, is prepared to move forward in full confidence.
Following your surgery, your leg and ankle will be elevated and immobilized in a splint. Depending on your individual health and other factors, your surgeon will determine when it will be best for you to get out of bed, start physical therapy, and begin other actions.
A physical therapist will help you rehabilitate your leg and ankle. They will teach you the safest method of moving and create a personalized exercise and stretching regimen to help you strengthen the muscles supporting your new joint. Items such as compression stockings might also be used to help aid recovery.
You can expect about six weeks where you will be unable to place weight on your ankle (although this may differ from patient to patient). A walker or crutches will be used for mobility.
Replace Pain With Function
Foot and Ankle Clinics of Arizona can help you return to a life that is free of ankle pain, getting you back to doing the things you love without impediment!
If you are suffering from ankle pain, stiffness, or instability, our experts can inform you of all your treatment options—whether they include ankle replacement or not—and help you take the best steps forward.
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