All About Ankle Replacement

ankle replacement surgery information

Ankle replacement has to do with the removal of a severely damaged ankle joint and replacing it with an artificial metallic implant. The ankle joint, also known as the tibiotalar joint, is the area on which the tibia (shinbone) rests on the talus (foot bone). In some cases, arthritis can destroy the ankle joint, and over the years, the smooth cartilage on the bones' surface can wear away. As a result, a person may experience inflammation, pain, and swelling of the joint. If more conservative treatment methods fail to provide relief, then the patient may have to seek ankle replacement surgery from a reliable orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Jaymes Granata in Las Vegas. Below is a discussion about some things you should know about ankle replacement surgery. 

Why The Procedure May Be Necessary 

Ankle replacement surgery makes sense when a patient has severe arthritis affecting the ankle. Arthritis may have resulted from wear and tear, a system-wide autoimmune disease, and even past injuries. If the symptoms of arthritis in the ankle joint are mild, your doctor may recommend more conservative treatments such as pain medicine, physical therapy, foot inserts, and corticosteroid injections. If the symptoms are debilitating and they do not seem to go away with the conservative treatments, then you may have to go in for total ankle replacement. 

What Happens During The Procedure? 

Before the surgery, you can expect your doctor to explain what your particular surgery is going to entail. The procedure will be performed by an orthopedic surgeon working with a team of other specialized healthcare professionals. It is usually done under general anesthesia, meaning that you will fall asleep, and you will not feel any pain during the surgical operation. The orthopedic will then make an incision through the muscles of your ankle and another one in the foot. He or she will then get rid of the damaged talus and shinbone. A new metal joint will then be attached to the pieces of the remaining bones using a kind of special cement. The surgeon will then make the necessary repairs and close the incisions. 

What Happens After Surgery? 

When you wake up from the anesthesia, your leg will probably be elevated and immobilized. Your medical team is going to continue monitoring you as you recover. Therefore, you will have to stay at the hospital for a few days. You may experience pain immediately after the procedure, but pain medication will give you some relief. The pain will diminish and go away within a few days. You may also have to wear splints and use crutches for a few weeks. 

Like other major surgical procedures, ankle replacement is not without risks. It comes with risks such as: 

- Infections 
- Nerve damage 
- Bleeding 
- Blood clots 
- Bone misalignment 
- New arthritis on nearby joint 
- Wearing out of the artificial joint's components 

Before the surgery, ensure that you talk to your doctor about what you can expect after the procedure for you to make an informed decision. 

The Takeaway 

Overall, it is apparent that ankle replacement is a major surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged ankle joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. The procedure can provide relief of people suffering from severe ankle joint arthritis whose symptoms refuse to go away with more conservative treatments. If you are looking for a reliable orthopedic surgeon offering ankle replacement services in Las Vegas, Dr. Jaymes is an excellent choice. Feel free to contact Battle Born Bone & Joint Center today.