Ankle replacement surgery, or ankle arthroplasty, is a procedure to remove an ankle joint because of damage or injury, and replace it with an artificial joint. Your doctor may recommend this surgery to reduce pain and help you walk without disability.
Dignity Health offers ankle replacement surgery in Arizona as part of our orthopedic services. To learn about your surgery options, or to make an appointment with a provider, Find a Doctor near you today at Dignity Health.
Are You a Candidate for an Ankle Replacement?
A doctor at Dignity Health may recommend ankle replacement surgery if you have serious damage to your ankle joint caused by an injury, infection, or arthritis (i)nflammation.
You may be eligible for an ankle replacement if:
- You have severe, debilitating ankle pain.
- Treatments such as joint injections, medications, physical therapy, and less invasive surgeries have not been successful.
- Your leg muscles work well.
- There is good circulation in your feet and legs.
- Your ankle is not severely deformed.
- You have no loss of sensation or nerve problems in your legs.
In many cases, minimally invasive surgery is an option, instead of an open procedure. This generally results in less pain, scarring, and a faster recovery period.
What to Expect From an Ankle Replacement at Dignity Health
An ankle replacement will take place in a Dignity Health hospital or outpatient surgery center. As this is a major surgery, you will be given general anesthesia. You will be asleep and won’t feel any pain during the procedure. If you have open surgery, your surgeon will make a large incision to access the joint and make repairs. A minimally invasive procedure will require a few smaller incisions. Your surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and replace them with metal or plastic hardware.
Once surgery is complete, you may need to spend several days recovering in the hospital, as well as a rehabilitation center. When you are able to return home, you may wear a cast or splint and use crutches for a while (up to 12 weeks). Physical therapy will help you regain full range of motion and ankle function. A full recovery may take anywhere from three to six months, depending on your age, overall health, and the type of procedure you had.
Life After Ankle Replacement Surgery
An ankle replacement can dramatically improve your life, providing a path towards a healthier, active lifestyle. Many ankle replacements continue to work well 10 years after surgery. Taking precautions will help increase the lifespan of your ankle replacement. These include avoiding contact sports, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Dignity Health offers personalized treatment to help people of all ages regain mobility with ankle replacement surgery in Arizona.