Your ankle may be small, but this complex joint plays a major role in your ability to stand, walk, run, turn, and twist on your feet. Three main bones come together and are held in place by your tendons and ligaments, and the cartilage between these bones helps keep your movements smooth and pain free.
When your ankle joint stops working properly because of arthritis, injury, or damage related to an injury, it becomes difficult to get from place to place without pain. To help you regain pain-free movement, the team at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, use total ankle arthroplasty, or a total ankle replacement.
Our board-certified surgeons, Ryan N. Lawrence, DPM, and Joe T. Southerland, DPM, put their years of training and experience to work restoring pain-free movement by removing the damaged tissues and bones and reconstructing the joint using prosthetic replacements.
If you’re facing a total ankle replacement, keep reading to learn how this amazing surgery can help you reclaim your quality of life and move without pain once more.
Year ago, a total ankle replacement wasn’t a viable option for many patients suffering from joint damage in their ankles. Thanks to advances in medical science and the development of FDA-approved ankle implant devices, total ankle replacement is now a highly effective way to ease the pain associated with ankle arthritis or injuries and resume an active lifestyle.
During the surgery, Dr. Lawrence or Dr. Southerland removes the tissues surrounding your ankle joint to expose the bone. Your surgeon then removes the damaged or diseased bone, leaving only healthy material in which to attach the prosthetic implants using biocompatible pins or screws.
After your surgery, you can expect to wear a splint to hold the repaired joint in place as your body heals. You’ll also need to keep weight off the affected ankle and engage in physical therapy to restore your strength and range of motion.
When you have an ankle that makes even simple movements a literal pain, two options offer relief: ankle fusion and ankle replacement. Ankle fusion involves locking the joint in place using plates, screws, and bone grafts. While this eases your pain, it also limits your joint’s range of motion, hindering your movements.
Ankle replacement surgery, on the other hand, removes the diseased or damaged components of your ankle and replaces them with prosthetics, which mimic your natural joint. This gives you a wider range of motion compared with ankle fusion, so you can walk normally without pain.
In the first weeks and months after your total ankle replacement, you can expect discomfort as your body heals. Once you’re fully recovered, which can take 6-12 months depending on your condition, you can expect to move more freely without experiencing pain or discomfort.
The best way to learn if you’re a candidate for total ankle replacement is to speak with one of the ankle experts at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers.
Our providers review your condition to make personalized recommendations for treatment. Generally speaking, the surgery may be right for you if you have pain from ankle arthritis or an injury that doesn’t respond to other treatments and negatively impacts your quality of life.
Ankle replacement surgery is not the right treatment for every candidate. Your Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers provider performs a physical exam and orders imaging studies, like an X-ray or MRI, to determine the best course of treatment.
While everyone’s case is unique, our providers may not recommend total ankle if you:
To learn more about ankle replacement surgery and how it can help you move without pain once more, contact the Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers office nearest you, or request an appointment online now.