Total Ankle Replacement
Total ankle replacement (also known as ankle arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged or arthritic ankle joint with an artificial joint.
Total ankle replacement is only considered for patients experiencing severe ankle arthritis or another ankle condition that is not responding to conservative methods such as pain medications and physical therapy. The following is a brief overview of the procedure:
- Anesthesia: Patients are typically placed under general anesthesia, which means they are unconscious and will feel no pain during the procedure.
- Incision: A small incision is made to access the damaged joint.
Removal: The damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint is removed.
- Replacement: Artificial components are implanted to replace the removed parts of the joint. In most procedures, metal components are placed on the tibia (shinbone) and talus (ankle bone). A plastic spacer is then inserted between them for smooth movement.
- Closure: Once the ankle replacement is securely in place, the incision is closed with stitches or staples.
- Recovery: Patients may be required to stay in the hospital for one to two days for monitoring and recovery. Physical therapy is also essential during the recovery process to help patients regain strength, mobility, and flexibility.