Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Fort Worth and Weatherford, TX

Regain Pain-Free Movement With Total Ankle Replacement

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Regain Pain-Free Movement With Total Ankle Replacement

Ankle injuries are pretty common, but when the damage gets bad enough that it can't be managed by conservative means, total ankle replacement might be the best option to restore mobility and relieve pain. Read on to find out more.

Your ankle is vital for stability, movement, and support, when doing anything on your feet, and this unique synovial joint that connects your legs to your feet has several bones, ligaments, and muscles, as well as three articulations in how it moves. Also referred to as a talocrural or tenon and mortise joint, it is composed of three bones that combined with musculoskeletal tissue allows for a wide range of motion and acts as a shock absorber when on your feet.

Injuries in the ankle are common, with 25,000 people suffering a sprained ankle every day in America and leading to a million hospital visits annually. Often, the damage to your ankle can be dealt with using pain relievers, rest, compression, physical therapy and other means, but severe enough problems may require surgery to be free of pain and mobility issues. 

Total ankle replacement surgery may be the solution you need for fuller movement of this important joint with no pain. To help you understand this procedure, let’s explore the reasons for getting one, and what to expect from the procedure.

If you live in the Fort Worth or Weatherford, Texas area, and you’re dealing with ankle problems that require treatments like replacement surgery, Drs. Gary Driver, Glen Beede, Gregory Jaryga, and the medical team at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists are here to help.

Reasons for ankle replacement surgery

There are several different types of ankle problems you may be dealing with, such as sprains and strains, which affect the ligaments and tendons, bruises that can damage the soft tissue, and fractures in the bone. The common reason for needing ankle replacement is connected severe damage from arthritis, referred to as end stage arthritis that also often comes with severe pain. 

This problem leads to the wearing down of the bones, the breaking down of cartilage in the joint, and decreased function in the joint. There are different types of joint inflammation that can cause this, such as osteoarthritis, and psoriatic, rheumatoid, or post traumatic arthritis.

What to expect from the procedure

Before the surgery begins you will have been informed of any medications you’ll need to stop taking days prior, such as blood thinners and aspirin. If you smoke, you’ll also need to stop before this begins, and avoid eating or drinking after midnight the night before. 

The procedure starts with anesthetic which will help your sleep through the surgery with no pain, and your vital signs are monitored throughout. Next, the area is cleaned, and an incision is made into the skin and muscle of the ankle and foot, and the damaged material is removed. Once that’s done, the new metal joint is placed into the pieces of the remaining bones, possibly using a special cement to keep them in place. 

Then, a piece of plastic is placed in to help the joints glide easily against each other and any other repairs are done if needed. The incisions are closed and the surgery is complete. You will likely stay in the hospital for the first two or three days after the surgery is finished, and your leg will be numb for up to 18 hours during and after surgery. 

Healing can take anywhere from six months to a year before your ankle is completely back to normal, and the replacement can last for years. The result will be a painless, more stable ankle that helps you get your life back to normal. If you’re dealing with a damaged ankle that needs a replacement or other treatment options, make an appointment with Drs. Driver, Beede, and Jaryga today to get the help you need.