By Mark T. Gould MD
What is an Ankle Replacement?
An ankle replacement is the total replacement of the joints within the ankle that are no longer functioning properly. Usually, an ankle replacement is needed due to arthritis or trauma. This would involve the fitting of the talus bone within the ankle to the tibia in the lower leg. Through the use of metal components that include pure titanium where the components make physical contact with the bone. A smooth piece of medical-grade plastic lies between the metal components allowing the ankle bones to slide with no more resistance than a natural ankle.
If you have ankle pain related to arthritis or trauma, there is no need to live with this pain. Our goal at JOI is to get you back to enjoying the things that you love to do.
Why would you need a Total Ankle Replacement?
The most common reason for an individual to need a total ankle replacement is arthritis. Arthritis will eventually break down the smooth cartilage within the ankle. This will result in the ankle becoming inflamed, irritated, and hard to mobilize. The pain associated with this will increase as the arthritis progressing with the ankle joint. Here are the top 3 reasons you may need a total ankle replacement:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankle Trauma
What to Expect from a Total Ankle Replacement
You can expect to be non-weight bearing for 4-6 weeks. Around that time post surgery you can begin walking around and placing partial weight on the ankle usually with the assistance of a boot. You will be partially immobilized in a boot for up to 10 weeks. During this period you can perform functional exercises with a physical therapist to restore normal ankle function. Full recovery can take up to 6 months but everyone heals differently.
Should My Ankle Hurt after Total Ankle Replacement?
A patient can plan to experience pain immediately following their surgery and it will continue for up to 2 weeks. The pain is managed through the use of medication and physical therapy. The majority of patients are off the medication after two weeks. Physical therapy can certainly help you to return to your normal activities.
Longevity of a Total Ankle Replacement
Dr. Gould of the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Beaches utilizes the Prophecy® Surgical Planning as well as acquiring their components from Stryker. Dr. Gould is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. He specializes in the treatment of the foot & ankle, lower leg, and general orthopedic surgery.
The longevity of a total ankle replacement using this technology has been shown in many studies from Stryker to have good results still at the 9-12 year follow-ups.
What is Prophecy® Surgical Planning?
Prophecy® Surgical Planning is a software created by Stryker for their physicians to improve total ankle replacement outcomes for patients. Additionally, this software allows the surgeon to create a visualization of the surgery from the patient’s CT Scan. Prophecy® will then be able to give the accurate sizes and alignments for the 3-D Printed guides that will allow the surgeon to perform the surgery with less risk. This risk reduction allows for better quality and more satisfaction among patients.
The new technology presented in this article certainly has improved the outcomes from this procedure. If you have persistent ankle pain, please give us a call!
Related Video: Dr. Gould
Book an Appointment with The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute Today!
Dr. Gould is accepting new patient consults for ankle arthritis and other conditions of the ankle. You can schedule online here.
You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient appointments.
Finally, to make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.