Total ankle replacement is a surgery that is performed to remove the damaged portions of the ankle bone and cartilage and replace them with artificial components that will help manage pain and restore mobility to the ankle.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis due to an injury, or osteoarthritis and your ankle pain is interfering with your daily life—even while you are resting—you may be a good candidate for total ankle replacement.
What to Expect in Surgery
During the procedure, the patient is put under anesthesia and the surgeon makes an incision in the front of the ankle. The bone is then cut, which allows the surgeon to place the metal and plastic components in order to recreate the ankle joint. At this stage, the surgeon may also lengthen the calf muscle or Achilles tendon if they are tight, which will help improve the range of motion of the ankle. After these steps are complete, the orthopedic surgeon will close the incisions.
What to Expect in Recovery
The ankle is dressed and later placed in a cast or a boot, and hospital recovery may require a stay of several days. After wounds are healed, the surgeon will ask the patient to start simple movement and non-weight-bearing activities. Several weeks later, the patient may be able to put some weight on the ankle if they are healing well. Some patients may work with a physical therapist after ankle replacement surgery. Patients should expect to wear a boot or cast for several months and should carefully follow the guidance the surgeon provides.
Why Choose Appalachian Orthopedics?
Ankle replacements are not as common as other joint replacement procedures, such as hip or knee, and they require an extremely skilled and specialty-trained surgeon. Ankle replacements at Appalachian Orthopedics are performed by board-certified, subspecialty-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Reagan Parr. Dr. Parr is the first in the region to perform a total ankle replacement and the region’s only surgeon currently performing this procedure.