Ankle Joint Replacement
Are you looking for a long-term solution for severe ankle pain due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis? Are anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs and cortisone shots no longer managing your ankle pain like they used to?
Well, you’re in luck, because at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England, we are one of the only foot and ankle practices in the region with surgeons who have the training, experience, and expertise in performing total ankle replacements. We use the most advanced technology and techniques available, including customized joint implants for added precision, effectiveness, and comfort.
What Is a Total Ankle Joint Replacement?
An ankle joint replacement surgery – also called a total ankle arthroplasty – replaces a damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant. It can be a life-changing surgery for those who are struggling with chronic ankle pain.
During the procedure, your surgeon will make incisions either from the front or side of the ankle depending on the type of implant used. The surgeon will then cut the bone and insert the new artificial joint surfaces around the lower end of shinbone (tibia) and fibula. Once into position, the metal surfaces are secured with surgical screws or other fixation devices. Damaged cartilage and bone or other tissue are also removed, and a plastic prosthesis may be placed for reducing friction between plates. Finally, the incision is stitched shut.
After an ankle joint replacement, you will wear a splint or cast to immobilize your ankle and allow it to heal. You will also likely need to use crutches for a period of time after the surgery. Physical therapy will also be an important part of your recovery. NSAIDs and other painkillers are also prescribed to limit the pain.
Why You May Need an Ankle Replacement
The number one reason for an ankle joint replacement is chronic arthritis. With arthritis, the cushioning cartilage in the joints becomes damaged, leading to bone-on-bone friction. It’s this friction that causes the tell-tale joint pain and inflammation of arthritis. The pain of arthritis is especially noticeable in weight-bearing joints like the ankles.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and there is no cure for it. Without intervention, this degenerative condition will worsen over time. For example, you may notice your ankle pain start out as mild and sporadic, before becoming more consistent and severe. Finally, you may be unable to walk at all without pain.
Benefits of Having an Ankle Replacement
Most people who undergo ankle replacement surgery experience a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in function. An increased range of motion is one of the most common benefits of having an ankle replacement. By increasing the ankle range of motion, patients can perform activities they were unable to do before.
Patients who have had an ankle replacement also report feeling less pain and stiffness in the joint. Another significant benefit is an improvement in balance and coordination, as the artificial ankle can closely replicate the function of a natural, healthy ankle joint. As a result, patients are less likely to experience falls and other accidents.
Additionally, newer, custom-made implants fit more precisely than ankle implants of the past – leaving you with a comfortable, natural feeling after recovery from your ankle replacement surgery.
We can give you three essential reasons to have an ankle replacement surgery, should you be a good candidate for the procedure:
Get your mobility back. Relieve your pain. Restore your quality of life.
Total Ankle Replacements in RI, MA
Don’t suffer with unbearable ankle pain due to arthritis for a moment longer. There are long-term solutions that will get you back on your feet again and moving – without pain. Ask one of the board-certified surgeons at the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England if you are a good candidate for an ankle replacement surgery and get the best treatment in your area.