Ankle Joint Replacement

Total ankle replacement surgery is a major surgical procedure performed for patients with advanced ankle osteoarthritis. The aim of an ankle replacement is to eradicate persistent pain and preserve ankle mobility.

The aim of ankle replacement surgery is to resurface the problematic ankle joint with mechanical parts that allow continued ankle motion and function without pain.

Ankle replacement involves replacing the natural surfaces of the ankle joint which have degenerated with an artificial cover known as prosthesis.

The ankle replacement has three components. Two of the components cover the joint and in the middle there is a third, mobile component. This permits for greater movement and reduces the stress between the bone and the implants.

The component which covers the part of the ankle joint known as the tibia is flat. It is integrated into the bone with a short stem. The component which covers the part of the ankle joint known as the talus is curved and fixed into place with pegs. All the components are covered in a bioactive coating which promotes the patient's own bone to grow into the artificial fixtures.

Ankle joint replacement allows the patient to preserve the movement that they have and gain a few degrees. Its success lies in the way that the ankle replacement integrates into the natural bone. By using mobile plastic bearing, stress on prosthesis much less stress and stays in place a lot longer than the old two-part ankle joint replacements.

A day after your surgery, you will be encouraged to take a few non-weight bearing steps with crutches under guidance of a physiotherapist. Your mobility on crutches and pain control will improve and you are likely to be discharged from hospital 2-3 days after surgery.

For the first six weeks after surgery, you will work with a physiotherapist on improving mobility and begin to partially bear weight. Cast will be removed between 4-6 weeks following surgery, depending upon your recovery.

For the first six months after surgery, strenuous activities like tennis and aerobics should be avoided. At this stage, you will have normal joint mobility and be able to resume normal daily activities. It can take more than a year before you are fully recovered and the ankle replacement surgery can be completely evaluated.

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