Up until recently, total ankle replacements were not too common. But more and more, patients are getting recommendations for this procedure. As the Wall Street journal reported, each year, around two million Americans visit the doctor for ankle pain from arthritis or fracture, and 50,000 people annually experience end-stage ankle arthritis, where the ankle has worn away so much that bone-on-bone contact becomes a painful disability. In the right candidates, total replacements are the perfect solution to this ongoing pain and complex fracturing. Since the procedure is only recently picking up in popularity, however, you might not have many people that you can ask about it. Here are a few things you should keep in mind if you’re considering or preparing to undergo a total ankle replacement.
We can customize your surgery
It’s important that you address the pros and cons of a total ankle replacement in great detail. You have several options to thinking about, including the system that you would like to use. The Wright Infinity and Inbone Total Ankle Systems are popular choices and use computer imaging to navigate anatomy. If it’s determined after an evaluation that you are not a good candidate for a full replacement, know that you still have options, including an ankle fusion.
You might be in the hospital for a couple of days
Although the procedure is now fairly routine, it’s still requires great attention to detail in a complex region of the body. While you are under anesthesia, our team will make an incision along the front of your ankle to access and remove any damaged bone and cartilage. At that point, we will also insert the new artificial replacement joint, attaching it to the bones of the leg and foot. After closing up the incision, your ankle will be placed in a splint or cast to keep it stable, and you will be asked to stay at the hospital while you are medicated for pain and monitored for any draining.
Taking care of your ankle after the procedure is essential
Restoring full movement and your ankle will require a dedicated physical therapy routine. After all, you’re learning to adapt to a new body part, and having less pain in your ankle will affect the way your other body parts function around it. You will likely work with a therapist to develop a plan that works best for your schedule and can get you fully functioning as fast as possible.
Total ankle replacements are typically only considered if the ankle joint is so damaged that other treatment methods have not been successful and your pain and loss of movement has only gotten worse. If you are thinking about replacement or have been recommended to receive one, your situation must be serious. Our team looks forward to working with you to repair your ankle health and get you back to the things you love. Don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment to discuss any questions.