TOTAL ANKLE REPLACEMENT
WHAT IS A TOTAL ANKLE REPLACEMENT?
A total ankle replacement procedure involves replacing damaged cartilage and bone with prosthetic components. Prosthetic components used in ankle replacement are made from a range of materials including metal, ceramic, and plastic. Unfortunately the indications for ankle replacement are more reduced compared to the hip, knee and shoulder replacement with another surgical option being an ankle fusion.
DO I NEED IT?
Ankle replacements are often performed for severe pain and disability due to the following reasons:
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, causes the cartilage that covers the bone to wear away, decreasing the protective space between the bones. This causes stiffness, swelling and pain, and is most common in people over the age of 50.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that affects joints in various parts of the body including the hands, wrists, knees and shoulders. The disease causes the lining of the joints to swell, causing pain deformity and stiffness.
- Post-traumatic arthritis
Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury, such as a dislocation or fracture.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When performing ankle replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will remove the worn out joint surfaces and replace them with 2 pieces of metal with a piece of hard plastic between them that allows the joint to move freely.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Before the surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon will conduct a thorough physical examination, and he may advice that you see a physiotherapist to discuss a rehabilitation plan.
When considering ankle replacement surgery, bear in mind the following:
- You need to see a physiotherapist after your surgery to regain an adequate range of motion and reduce swelling.
- Your doctor will prescribe pain medication after the procedure.
- It will take some time for you to become fully mobile after your surgery– it is important to take time to heal properly. Your recovery time will depend on your condition.