Am I a Candidate for Total Ankle Replacement?

Am I a Candidate for Total Ankle Replacement?

Do you struggle with significant pain or lack of mobility due to disease or injury in your ankle? You may wonder if a total ankle replacement (arthroscopy), or TAR, is right for you. This amazing surgery can restore your mobility and end your pain, but not all people with ankle issues are candidates.

At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers, our experienced board-certified surgeons, Ryan N. Lawrence, DPM, and Joe T. Southerland, DPM, help men and women in the Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, area get back to doing the things they love using total ankle arthroscopy. 

The best part? Long-term studies show TAR helps patients stay on their feet longer, with 90% of TARs working well 5 years after surgery. If you’re considering a TAR, take a moment to learn about what’s involved and whether you’re a candidate. 

How does a TAR work?

Total ankle replacement surgery works by removing the parts of your ankle with disease or damage, then replacing them with prosthetic implants and biocompatible pins or screws so your new joint functions like your natural joint. 

TAR surgery is generally performed under general anesthesia. We may use spinal anesthesia when necessary. Either way, you won’t feel any pain during your procedure. 

In the weeks and months that follow, you’ll experience some discomfort as your body heals. Each week, you’ll engage in physical therapy and work to regain strength, balance, and flexibility, with less pain and discomfort as time goes by. 

Full recovery takes 6-12 months, depending on several factors, including your overall health and fitness level and the condition of your ankle. 

Am I a candidate for TAR surgery?

Before recommending a TAR, your Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers provider evaluates your overall health and carefully examines your ankle and any associated symptoms. Depending on the condition of your ankle and other factors, we may recommend trying less invasive options first. 

While most people in overall good health may be eligible, a TAR is best for patients in good overall health with advanced ankle arthritis and little or no joint misalignment or deformity who wish to get back to their previous active lifestyle.

You may also be a candidate for TAR surgery if you’re struggling with an ankle injury or disease that can’t be treated by or hasn’t responded to other therapeutic modalities (like splinting, physical therapy, or other surgeries), including: 

While your Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers provider evaluates each case individually, some factors may prevent you from being eligible for a TAR, including:

For patients not eligible for TAR surgery, your provider may recommend alternative treatments, like ankle fusion surgery, which fuses the bones in your ankles to end your pain. 

Learn if you’re a candidate for total ankle replacement by scheduling an evaluation online or over the phone with an experienced ankle surgeon at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers. 

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