Ankle replacement is a surgical procedure where the ankle joint is replaced with an artificial implant. The surgery can be corrective or palliative, depending on the circumstances of each patient. Joint replacement surgeries are some of the most successful operations in modern medicine. Their success rates increase every year as new devices are developed and tested to improve outcomes for patients. A patient with a severely arthritic ankle who is in the end-stage of the disease might find total relief from an ankle replacement. A partial ankle replacement may be more appropriate for younger patients, particularly those whose arthritis is linked to another condition or injury. A specialist in ankle replacement in Katy can determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.
Who Can Benefit From Ankle Replacement?
Patients with severe arthritis limiting their ability to function can experience relief from ankle replacement. The procedure is also an effective treatment for patients who have suffered trauma such as a fracture or injury related to athletic activity. Athletes who have had a severe ankle injury or multiple sprains may benefit from the procedure.
How to Prepare For Ankle Replacement
Before surgery, a patient should carefully follow all of their doctor’s instructions. This includes taking the proper amount of time off from work for recovery. A person with pre-existing health issues may need to take additional precautions before undergoing this procedure.
The surgical procedure itself takes between four to six hours under ideal circumstances. Actual time in the operating room will depend on how much work is required to remove damaged bone and tissue and place the implant correctly. The surgeon will use an imaging device such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-rays to plan out how to approach the problem. The damaged joint is carefully removed. Depending on the patient, the surgeon may insert an implant that replaces only the head of the bone or a device that replaces both the head and shank of the tibia.
Patients who have had ankle replacement surgery can expect a lengthy recovery period. The goal of any joint replacement procedure is to recreate the natural function of the knee or ankle so that it moves smoothly without pain. For the first six weeks following surgery, patients must have their leg in a cast or brace at all times. Once the cast is removed, the patient will begin physical therapy so there is an opportunity for them to regain strength and movement gradually.
You may need to use a walker or crutches to get around when you first wake up from surgery, but after a few weeks you should be able to move around with ease. In some cases, patients may need additional time off work, depending on their occupational needs.
In summary, ankle replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the ankle with an artificial implant. You may need it if you have severe arthritis or have suffered trauma that severely damaged your ankle. You should follow all instructions before the surgery. The procedure lasts anywhere between four to six hours, depending on how much work needs to get done. The surgery aims at restoring natural ankle function. You may need an extended time for recovery.