Dr. Spencer Niemann is one of a few Podiatrist in the Greater Phoenix Area performing this procedure. Ankle replacement is now the best option for patients with End Stage Ankle Arthritis. Dr. Niemann was trained in residency for three years and has performed the surgery for the past six years, while in practice in the Greater Phoenix Area.
He has been trained on Four of the Devices that are currently approved for implantation. We can provide you with the best option available to you as a patient, implanting the right implant for the right patient.
Total Ankle Replacement
Total ankle replacement is a surgical procedure used to relieve pain and restore movement to damaged ankle joints. Damage to the ankle joint is usually caused by injury or age-related degenerative conditions such as arthritis, which tend to get worse if left untreated. These conditions can leave patients with severe pain, stiffness, limited range of motion and an eventual loss of function of the ankle. These symptoms can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life, which is why thorough and effective treatment is necessary.
Ankle replacement surgery is one of the most effective treatment options available for severely damaged ankle joints. Since it was first performed over 30 years ago, this procedure has been constantly evolving to provide the best possible results for patients. While it is difficult to restore full function to the ankle, many patients are able to experience a drastic improvement in ankle function after this procedure.
Who is this procedure recommended for?
Total ankle replacement is often considered a last resort for treating ankle conditions. Your doctor may first recommend conservative treatment to relieve the symptoms associated with your condition. If these treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be beneficial.
The ideal patient for this procedure is someone who is over the age of 50 and not very active. While total ankle replacement can improve symptoms of arthritis and other painful conditions, it can also leave patients with a limited range of motion and limited support in their ankle joint after the procedure. Patients with severely deformed or unstable ankles, or those whose job requires heavy labor or running should not undergo this procedure. Talk to your doctor to find out more about your treatment options and if this procedure is right for you.
How is this procedure performed?
As with other joint replacement surgeries, total ankle replacement involves the removal of the damaged joint and the implantation of an artificial replacement joint, which helps restore function and support to the joint. There are several different options FDA-approved for total ankle replacement, depending on the severity of your condition and your goals for after surgery. You can choose the best prosthetic device for you by speaking with your doctor.
The total ankle replacement procedure is performed under general anesthesia to help minimize pain and discomfort during the procedure. Your doctor will make an incision in the ankle and remove the damaged joint surfaces before inserting the artificial replacement to the leg and foot. The incision is then closed and the ankle is usually put in a splint or cast to keep it stable. This procedure usually requires a short hospital stay and physical therapy to help the ankle heal. Compression stockings may be used as well for some time to help prevent swelling and bruising of the ankle.
What are the results of this procedure?
After a total ankle replacement procedure, most patients experience significant relief from symptoms of arthritis and other painful conditions. Many patients who were unable to walk before surgery can now do so, and can also enjoy simple activities such as bending, exercising and climbing.
What are the risks of this procedure?
Although total ankle replacement is considered to be a safe procedure, there are certain risks involved with any type of surgery. Some of these risks may include infection, bleeding, broken bones, dislocation of the new joint, nerve damage, artery damage or problems with anesthesia.