Chronic ankle pain can have a major impact on your overall health and prevent you from doing the activities you enjoy. If you suffer with persistent ankle pain, you may be considering ankle replacement surgery to relieve your symptoms.
Ankle pain can result from a number of different factors, including a sprain, fracture, or Achilles tendon injury. However, persistent ankle pain could be a sign of a more serious condition,such as arthritis, which can cause pain, swelling, stiffness, and a reduced range of motion in affected joints.
Arthritis is a chronic condition that can cause the tissues in a joint to deteriorate over time. There are more than 100 types of arthritis,but osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the most common types to affect the ankle. Without intervention, arthritis typically worsens over time with pain becoming more consistent and severe, resulting in the inability to walk without experiencing pain.
How Chronic Ankle Pain Is Treated
In cases of mild to moderate arthritis, conservative treatments, including medications, corticosteroid injections, orthotics, and physical therapy, can help relieve ankle pain. Other innovative treatments, such as stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can also help alleviate symptoms and promote natural healing for people with ankle injuries and conditions, such as arthritis. However, if you have severe symptoms that interfere with your daily activities, surgery may be considered to fixthe underlying issue.
There are different types of surgeries and factors such as your age, severity of symptoms, and personal preferences will determine the best type of surgery for you. Arthroscopic debridement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to remove damaged cartilage from inside the affected joint. It may be considered for less severe arthritis.To treat more severe cases of arthritis, ankle fusionsurgery or ankle replacement surgery are often used.
An ankle fusion involves attaching two or more of the bones together to prevent pain and swelling caused by movement in the joint. Ankle replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant and helps to eliminate symptoms and restore full range of motion in the joint.
Ankle Replacement Surgery – What’s Involved?
Ankle replacement surgery, also called total ankle arthroplasty, is a procedure that is used to relieve symptoms such as pain, swelling,and stiffness. During surgery, the damaged parts of the tibia and talus bones that make up the ankle joint are removed. Artificial metal joints are then attached to the remaining bone surfaces using surgical screws or other fixation devices. Damaged cartilage and other tissue are also removed during surgery, and a specialized hard-wearing surgical plastic prosthesis may be inserted, which enables the artificial joint components to glide together smoothly, simulating that of a natural joint.
Following ankle replacement surgery, a splint or cast will need to be worn to immobilize the ankle and allow it to heal. In most cases, you will also need to use crutches for a period of time after the procedure. Physical therapy is an important part of your recovery after surgery and will help you regain mobility in the ankle.
How Ankle Replacement Surgery Can Benefit Your Health
With ongoing improvements in technology and research, ankle replacement surgery has become a preferred treatment option for many patients, as it significantly reduces ankle pain and stiffness, while also preserving function and mobility in the joint. Modern, custom-made ankle implants are designed to fit more precisely than devices of the past, leaving you with a comfortable, more natural feeling joint.
One of the most important benefits of having an ankle replacement is an increased range of motion. Unlike ankle fusion surgery, which eliminates pain by fixing the joint in place and restricting movement, joint replacement surgery enables you to have a full range of motion in the ankle joint, just like a natural joint. This allows you to perform simple everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs and walking comfortably over uneven surfaces, but also allows you to return to activities you were unable to do before, such as hiking, cycling, and certain sports.
Because the artificial ankle can closely replicate the function of a natural, healthy ankle joint, it can also improve balance and coordination, meaning you are less likely to experience falls and accidents.Ankle replacement surgery can be a life-changing surgery for patients who are struggling with chronic ankle pain. It can have a significant impact on your daily life by eliminating pain and swelling, and restoring natural movement in the ankle.
Are There Risks Involved with Ankle Replacement Surgery?
In most cases, an ankle replacement procedure is very successful and can provide many benefits to patients with long-term pain and disability. However, like with all types of surgery, there can be some risks involved with ankle replacement surgery, which could include:
- Damage to nearby nerves
- Blood clot
- Misalignment of bones
- Artificial components wearing out or becoming loose (which often requires further surgery)
Certain factors may increase your risk of complications, including age, medical history, bone health, and lifestyle choices such as smoking. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you to allow you to make an informed decision about your care.
Best Ankle Replacement Surgeons in Fall River, MA
If you have chronic ankle pain, contact the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England for expert care. Our dedicated team of board-certified surgeons provide diagnoses and a wide range of conservative and surgical treatments for foot and ankle problems for patients of all ages.
We have the training, experience, and expertise in performing ankle replacement surgery and use the most advanced technology and techniques available, including customized joint implants for added precision, comfort, and effectiveness.
Contact us today at any of our three convenient locations in Fall River, Warwick, or Middletown to find out if you are a good candidate for ankle replacement surgery.Alternatively, you can request an appointment online. Let the Foot & Ankle Institute of New England find a long-term solution that works best for you and your lifestyle.