An ankle replacement involves taking out the worn-out ends of your tibia and talus bones and replacing them with a man-made (artificial) ends made out of plastic or metal. Unlike an ankle fusion, a replacement allows you to move your joint after surgery. The procedure takes between one and two hours and you’ll normally need to stay in the hospital for two days.
Your foot will be put in a temporary cast afterwards but then it’ll be bandaged and you may need a splint for support. This allows you to move it fairly soon after surgery, but you’ll probably need to use crutches for about 4 weeks. Replacement ankle joints can last for about 10–15 years.
What are the risks of ankle replacement surgery?
Ankle replacement surgery is very successful in most cases, but it does have some risks. These include:
- Damage to nearby nerves
- Blood clot
- The bones not joining together properly
- Misalignment of the bones
- New arthritis in neighboring joints
- Loosening of the artificial components, which might eventually need a follow-up surgery
- Wearing out of the components
Who should consider total ankle / ankle replacement surgery?
Who are the best candidates to undergo an ankle replacement? Who is not a good candidate?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of total ankle replacement in comparison to ankle fusion?
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