Total Ankle Replacement
Dr. Spencer Niemann specializes in total ankle replacement surgery.
Your ankle joints support your entire body weight when you run, walk and stand. The ankle is very unique in that it has the smallest surface area of all the major weight-bearing joints found in the body. Although your ankle is extremely tough and durable, even the toughest body parts can wear out over time or become injured.
Total ankle replacement is an effective treatment for an ankle joint that has worn out, become stiff, affects your ability to walk or causes you pain.
Total Ankle Replacement Surgery
Total ankle replacement is a surgery to replace the damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint. Specially made artificial prosthetics are used to replace your own bones. The artificial ankle joint is implanted to replace the damaged cartilage—they are typically made from plastic and metal parts and are very strong. With total ankle replacement surgery, the ability to preserve the motion of your ankle is one huge advantage.
Are You a Candidate for Total Ankle Replacement Surgery?
If you are at the end stage of ankle arthritis, you are a great candidate for total ankle replacement surgery. In addition, chronic ankle instability or individuals you have suffered from numerous ankle fractures could benefit from ankle replacement surgery.
An ideal candidate is someone who is less than 250 pounds, over the age of 50 and has no hind foot deformity. A patient with medical problems such as obesity and diabetes are generally not good candidates for ankle replacement.
What Can I Expect After Total Ankle Replacement Surgery?
Following your surgery, your leg and ankle will be elevated and immobilized in a splint. Your surgeon will decide what is best for you next—when you are able to get of bed, sit up in a chair and start physical therapy.
A physical therapist can teach you the safest method of moving around and develop a personalized exercise and stretching routine to help strengthen your joint and muscles surrounding it. For approximately six weeks after surgery, you may not be able to put weight on your ankle—a walker or crutches will help you move around.
Am I at Risk for Total Ankle Replacement Surgery?
Some common risks of a total ankle replacement surgery may include:
• Stiffness or instability in the ankle
• Over time, the artificial joint may loosen
• Skin not healing entirely after surgery
• Nerve damage
• Blood vessel damage
• Bone break during surgery
• Dislocation of the artificial joint
• Allergic reaction to the artificial joint
A pain-free life is possible. Get back to the activities you love after your total ankle replacement surgery. San Tan Foot & Ankle will educate you on the potential risks of total ankle replacement as well as the best steps to take to avoid any complications so you are able to have a smooth procedure, speedy recovery and get back to enjoying your life ASAP!