Ankle Arthroplasty (Total Ankle Replacement)
Ankle replacement surgery is the replacement of a damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant. The ankle joint is where your shinbone rests on top of a bone of your foot, the talus. Arthritis can affect this joint as well as other joints in the foot. Over time, the smooth cartilage on the surface of the bones wears away.
Arthroplasty can relieve pain and restore enough function in a joint to allow a person to perform normal daily activities.
Ankle replacement surgery may make sense for you if you have severe arthritis in your ankle. This can cause symptoms like severe pain, inflammation, and stiffness, which can lead to difficulty walking. The main types of ankle arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis. This is “wear and tear” arthritis that develops in older adults.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. This is a system-wide autoimmune disease that affects the joints.
- Arthritis. This can happen because of a past injury of your joint.
We use ankle replacement surgery to replace this damaged joint and eliminate any associated pain and swelling. The whole operation may take a few hours. In general, you can expect the following:
- You will receive general anesthesia, which will make you sleep so that you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
- We will carefully monitor your vital signs, like your heart rate and blood pressure, during the operation.
- After cleaning the affected area, we will make an incision through the skin and muscle of your ankle, and possibly another one on your foot.
- We will remove the damaged portions of your shinbone and talus.
- Next, we will attach the new metal joint surfaces into the pieces of your remaining bones. We might use a special type of cement to hold them in place.
- We will also probably insert a piece of plastic between the new metal joint spaces, so they can glide easily against each other.
- We may make other necessary repairs.
- We will surgically close the layers of skin and muscle around your ankle and foot.