Ankle replacement is surgery to replace the damaged parts of the three bones that make up the ankle joint. Artificial joint parts (prosthetics) are used to replace your own bones. They come in different sizes to fit different-size people.
Ankle replacement surgery may be done while you are under general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain-free. Or, you may have spinal anesthesia. You will be awake but will not feel anything below your waist. If you have spinal anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to help you relax during the operation.
Your surgeon will make a surgical cut in the front of your ankle to expose the ankle joint. Your surgeon will then gently push the tendons, nerves, and blood vessels to the side. After this:
After putting the tendons back into place, the surgeon closes the wound with sutures (stitches). You may need to wear a brace for a while to keep the ankle from moving.
Ankle replacement surgery may be done if the ankle joint is severely damaged. Your symptoms may be pain and loss of movement of the ankle. Some causes of damage are:
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for ankle replacement surgery are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
After surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 days.
Your ankle will be in a cast or a splint after surgery. A small tube that helps drain blood from the ankle joint may be left in your ankle for 1 or 2 days. To keep swelling down, keep your foot raised higher than your heart while you are sleeping or resting.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to teach you exercises that will help you move more easily.
A successful ankle replacement will get rid of your pain and allow you to move your ankle up and down. Usually, total ankle replacements last 10 or more years. How long yours lasts will depend on your activity level, overall health, and the amount of damage to your ankle joint before surgery.
Ankle arthroplasty - total; Total ankle arthroplasty; Endoprosthetic ankle replacement; Ankle surgery
Ishikawa SN. Total ankle arthroplasty. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 5.
Hansen ST Jr. Post-traumatic reconstruction of the foot and ankle. In: Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Levine AM, Trafton PG, Krettek C, eds. Skeletal Trauma. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 62.
Reviewed by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Unviersity of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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