The ankles are amongst your body’s most critical physical components. These features enable you to stand, move, and support your body’s weight. However, such pressure and responsibility leaves this amalgamation of joints and bones susceptible to injury.
In some cases, ankle injuries could grow severe enough to cause appreciable ankle pain and other symptoms that could eventually warrant the need for a therapeutic procedure known as ankle replacement.
Ankle Replacement Overview
This surgical undertaking is executed to replace your existing ankle joint. This structure, which is medically referred to as the tibiotalar joint connects your leg and foot. When said joint grows diseased or damaged, replacement is made using artificial materials.
Reasons Ankle Replacement May Be Necessary
Replacement is typically performed when injury or illness is severe and several other treatment avenues have been explored. You might be an optimal candidate for the surgery if your ankle has been adversely impacted by some type of arthritis. This condition precipitates untoward and occasionally debilitating symptoms, such as swelling, ankle pain, stiffness, and in the most serious instances, diminished mobility.
The most common categories of arthritis are:
This most common form of the malady occurs as a result of past injury to the joint caused by accidents, falls, or through physical activity.
This differentiation of the condition often occurs in older adults and is attributed to normal physical deterioration bought forth by the aging process.
This is a more serious malady caused by an abnormal immune system response in which joints are damaged.
Prior to undergoing surgery, you are firmly urged to disclose any over-the-counter or prescription medications you take. Certain drugs might increase your risk of complications. Moreover, if you smoke, most medical professionals urge you to stop in advance of the procedure.
Usually, ankle replacement is performed by a specialized physician titled an orthopedic surgeon.
Prior to the initiative, you will likely be administered general anesthesia, which will ensure you remain asleep until the operation is completed. Surgery involves several steps.
During the initial phase, your surgeon will make an incision near the impacted ankle. Next, the damaged joint will be removed and injured surrounding areas will be repaired. The ensuing stage involves the insertion of artificial joints, which are often comprised of materials like metal. These components will be attached to existing bones using a cement-like substance.
Surgery is concluded when your surgeon closes, cleans and stitches the incision sites.
After the operation, your ankle’s movement will likely be restricted by some type of immobilization device like a splint or cast. This effort promotes healing and prevents re-injury.
Once the impacted ankle has sufficiently healed, you will likely need to undergo a course of physical therapy. This effort, sometimes abbreviated as PT, is overseen by a licensed healthcare professional known as a physical therapist. Said subject will review your case and formulate an individualized set of exercises designed to help your ankle regain the strength and mobility it might have previously lost.
Call POSMC today!
To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.
POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!