If you have arthritis in your ankle, ankle replacement surgery is an option to restore function and reduce pain. Ryan Golub, DPM, and Zachary Flynn, DPM, AACFAS, at Arizona Foot Health in Phoenix, Arizona, are one of the few providers in the area who offer ankle replacement as an alternative to ankle fusion, which severely limits your range of motion in the joint. Call or book an appointment online to find out if you’re a candidate for ankle replacement surgery.
Patients who chose ankle replacement surgery usually have advanced arthritis that severely limits their daily activity. This may be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis that developed due to a past injury.
Arthritis causes the cartilage between your bones to degenerate so they painfully rub together. Arthritis also greatly limits your overall range of motion and can interfere with simple activities such as standing and walking.
If your ankle pain can’t be managed effectively with minimally invasive interventions like reduced activity, bracing, or over-the-counter pain medications, call Arizona Foot Health to find if surgical intervention is right for you.
Ankle replacement is less common than hip and knee replacement surgery, despite being available for approximately 25 years. This is because the ankle is less affected by arthritis than other joints.
Before ankle replacement surgery, your provider reviews your medical history and makes sure any chronic medical conditions are well-managed.
During surgery, you’re placed under general anesthesia so you feel no sensation. The doctor makes an incision on the front of your ankle, as well as smaller incisions on the sides. They then remove any damaged parts of your shin bone and talus bone (a bone in your foot).
Your provider replaces these bones with a smooth metal and plastic implant. After the incisions are closed, they place a dressing on the site that has a hard back and soft front to support your foot and ankle during healing. This allows room for any post-surgical swelling. The entire procedure takes about two to three hours.
Following ankle replacement surgery, expect to spend two to three nights in the hospital until your pain is regulated and you can safely move around on crutches or a walker. Once discharged, it takes at least six months to get back to regular activities like driving, daily chores, and work.
If you have ankle pain or arthritis and would like to explore ankle replacement surgery, call Arizona Foot Health or book an appointment online today.