You might need to see an ankle joint replacement doctor if you have significant ankle pain due to an accident or arthritis, to help you understand how it may impact your daily quality of life. Nonetheless, advances in technology and prosthetics have enabled ankle joint replacement doctors to give their patients the choice of a total ankle replacement.
Ankle replacement surgery is done to treat individuals who have lost ankle function and are in excruciating pain. Ankle surgery can aid with pain relief, mobility, and overall quality of life.
Let's learn more about this procedure to help you understand what it involves and when to see an ankle joint replacement doctor.
The most prevalent causes for requiring an ankle replacement are (1) an accident or (2) severe arthritis. Both conditions cause swelling and discomfort by damaging the cartilage surrounding the ankle.
Ankle discomfort is so widespread that roughly two million Americans seek medical attention for it each year. The cartilage in the ankle is nearly totally worn away in severe instances of ankle arthritis.
Sports and strenuous activity place additional strain on the joint, making them typical causes of an ankle injury. Osteoarthritis, ankle fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and obesity are also some reasons for ankle pain.
Ankle arthritis or injury frequently causes pain, stiffness, edema, and sensitivity around the ankle. People frequently report that when they attempt to place weight on their ankle, it becomes weak or unstable, making standing or walking difficult.
If ankle discomfort is left ignored, it can worsen over time. That is why it's vital to have an ankle joint replacement doctor assess your ankle problem in order to prevent it from deteriorating.
There are numerous key reasons why ankle joint replacement doctors offer ankle arthroplasty to patients, including the following:
Patients who have severe osteoarthritis of the ankle joint frequently have the joint replaced. As the cartilage in the ankle goes away due to arthritis, swelling and inflammation create stiffness and discomfort. The ankle might possibly become immobile.
Similarly, rheumatoid arthritis puts you at risk of requiring an ankle replacement. The condition has the potential to degrade the bone in the ankle joint, resulting in deformity and impairment.
Chronic ankle discomfort may indicate that the ankle needs to be replaced. The discomfort might be caused by a sports injury or trauma from an accident or a fall.
When alternative procedures fail, limited mobility and loss of ankle range of motion may indicate the need for an ankle replacement.
Extreme ankle weakness is frequently a symptom that the ankle bones are failing. As a result, an ankle replacement will allow you to recover movement and function in the leg and ankle.
Multiple ankle sprains, particularly in younger people, might produce the ideal storm necessitating ankle surgery. People who sprain their ankles regularly while playing sports, for example, may notice that the ankle is now less stable than previously. Because the ligaments are weakened from over-stretching, instability increases the likelihood of re-spraining. Ligaments can become loose if they're torn and don't fully mend.
Severe ankle fractures that do not heal adequately might result in a loss of ankle joint range of motion. A total ankle replacement might be the best treatment for resolving this issue and restoring full functionality.
The initial step in identifying ankle issues is to consult with a board-certified ankle joint replacement doctor. The doctor will question you about the discomfort and pain you're feeling, look at how much edema you have, and assess your range of motion.
Your doctor will then order X-rays to check for bone fractures, spurs, or damaged cartilage. In rare situations, your ankle joint replacement doctor may additionally request an MRI or CAT scan to obtain further information about your condition.
Consult your ankle joint replacement doctor about how to prepare for ankle replacement surgery. Inquire ahead of time whether you should discontinue any medications, such as blood thinners. If you smoke, attempt to quit before the surgery. Tell the doctor about all of your medications, including over-the-counter medications like aspirin. Inform your ankle joint replacement doctor about any changes in your general health, like a recent fever.
Further imaging tests, like CT scans, X-rays, or MRIs, may be necessary before your procedure.
Because you'll require crutches for several weeks, you may need to change your living arrangements as you heal. Plan arrangements for someone to fetch you from the hospital back home.
You must abstain from drinking and eating after midnight the night before the operation.
Ankle replacement surgery (also referred to as total ankle arthroplasty or TAA) includes the reconstruction of the ankle joint using metal and plastic materials or prostheses. In rare circumstances, your ankle joint replacement doctor may propose further surgery on the tendons to increase your ankle's range of motion.
Following surgery, your ankle joint replacement doctor will likely suggest physical therapy to help you progressively strengthen and condition the ankle so that you may resume your chosen level of activity. Most patients recover completely after 6 to 12 months of surgery.
Discuss your post-surgery expectations with your healthcare physician. Your ankle joint replacement doctor will continue to closely follow you while you recuperate. Your leg will most likely be immobilized and raised when you wake up. As soon as you're able, you can resume your usual diet. You may require more X-rays to see how well your procedure went. You will most likely need to stay in the hospital for a few days.
You may experience substantial discomfort immediately following surgery, although pain relievers may help. The discomfort should start fading after a few days, and you should feel less pain than before the procedure.
You will most likely need to wear a splint for a few weeks after your operation. You may also require crutches for many weeks. While you recuperate, your ankle joint replacement doctor will teach you how to move your foot. Resting and elevating your leg during the first week or so following surgery may be beneficial. For a couple of months, you won't be able to bear full weight on your foot.
You will be unable to see the incision at first but contact your ankle joint replacement doctor immediately if you feel the pain worsening or you develop a fever or chills.
Keep all of your follow-up visits so that your ankle joint replacement doctor can track your improvement. A few weeks following surgery, your splint may be removed and replaced with a boot or cast. This cast may be removed many weeks following surgery. Physical therapy may be required for a number of months to assist you in maintaining your range of motion and strength. It might take many months before you can resume all of your old activities.
Following your healthcare provider's recommendations for rehabilitation, medications, and wound care should improve your chances of a positive outcome.
Rest, ice/heat therapy, anti-inflammatory medicines, and physical therapy are the initial lines of treatment for an ankle issue. If your ankle joint replacement doctor discovers that you have severe arthritis or a poorly healed complicated fracture, he or she may advise you to undergo ankle arthroscopy, ankle fusion, or complete ankle replacement.
You might want to consider ankle replacement surgery if you have a complicated injury or severe arthritis and wish to keep a full range of motion in your ankle. Ankle replacement surgery has substantially improved over time, making it more successful.
Your ankle joint replacement doctor could match you with an implant that's custom-made for your ankle. These custom-fit prostheses result in a better surgical outcome as well as a higher quality of life after surgery.
Every day, more FDA-approved ankle implants become accessible as possibilities, making ankle replacement the preferable treatment strategy over ankle fusion.
Ankle replacement surgery can assist you in easing discomfort, regaining range of motion, and resuming an active lifestyle. Call our highly skilled doctors at Sunnyvale Orthopedics to understand whether an ankle replacement is suitable for you.