May 26, 2024

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When is Ankle Replacement Recommended?

Arthritis and other conditions could cause ankle pain and limited mobility, making it difficult to carry out regular tasks. If more conservative therapies, such as bracing and medication have failed, you may be ready to explore other alternatives. At Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists, podiatrist & foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Gary Driver provides total ankle replacement to address these common foot concerns. Continue reading to learn more about ankle replacement Fort Worth, TX, including what the procedure entails when recommended and more.

What Is Ankle Replacement Surgery, And How Does It Work?

Total ankle replacement surgery is a treatment that replaces damaged cartilage and bone in a patient’s ankle joint. Utilizing artificial joint replacements could help reduce discomfort while improving mobility in your ankle, unlike an ankle fusion treatment.

Throughout your procedure, Dr. Driver will provide you with anesthesia; thus, you will not experience any discomfort. Your new artificial joint will be linked to the top of your foot bone and the lower end of your shinbone once your surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone. Tendons in the affected area will be placed back in position, and sutures will be used to close the wound. Thereafter, you might need to use a brace, cast, or splint to protect your ankle from moving as it heals.

When Is Total Ankle Replacement Surgery Suggested?

One of the following issues may cause injury to your ankle joint and a loss of mobility:

·         Osteoarthritis

·         Rheumatoid arthritis

·         Infection

·         Bone fracture

Your doctor might suggest pain medication, bracing, anti-inflammatory medicine, physical therapy, and activity modification. If these treatments do not work and you still have discomfort and limited mobility that disrupts your daily activities, ankle replacement surgery may be suggested.

Contrary to fusion surgery, the ankle’s motion is retained with total ankle replacement surgery. Furthermore, neighboring joints are protected from heightened wear, reducing the risk of arthritic deterioration, which is frequent following fusion surgery.

Ankle replacements have been conducted for roughly 25 years, though not as frequently as knee and hip replacements. In the last decade, the quality of available implants has increased, and as a result, more total ankle replacements have been performed.

Nonetheless, if you have a major deformity in your ankle or a damaged bone in your talus (the bottom bone of your ankle joint), you must avoid this procedure. Other factors, such as poor blood circulation to the leg, previous ankle infections, or poor leg muscle function, could indicate that total ankle replacement is not right for you.

During your initial appointment, Dr. Driver will discuss your situation with you and evaluate whether total ankle replacement surgery is necessary.

What Are The Risks Associated With Ankle Replacement Surgery?

Virtually any procedure conducted with anesthesia bears particular risks, including infection, blood clots, and medication allergies. Here are some specific hazards associated with complete ankle replacement surgery:

·         Ankle instability, weakness, or stiffness

·         Loosening of your prosthetic joint with time

·         An allergic reaction to the prosthetic joint

·         Damage to the nerves or blood vessels

·         Dislocation of the prosthetic joint

·         Bone fracture during surgery

·         Failure of your bones to mend

·         Wound healing issues, particularly if you have diabetes or smoke

Your feet are vulnerable to injury and damage since you utilize them to perform virtually all your day-to-day activities. For this reason, any issue with your feet could have debilitating effects, not only on your physical but also on general wellness. If you are considering ankle replacement, talk to Dr. Gary Driver about your eligibility for the procedure. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to arrange an appointment today.