Ankle replacement is surgery to replaced bones in the ankle with artificial ones.
This surgery is done in people who have bone and joint damage from arthritis or injury. It is done when other methods have not helped with pain or walking.
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Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems that may happen, such as:
Talk to the doctor about ways to handle things that may raise the risk of problems, such as:
Your doctor may do:
Anesthesia may be:
An incision will be made in the front or side of the ankle. The damaged tissue and bone will be removed. The rest of the bone will be trimmed and prepared for the artificial devices. The metal and plastic devices will be put in and secured to the bone. The Achilles tendon may need to be lengthened to ease tension from the calf muscle.
The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be used to cover it.
About 2.5 hours
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain after surgery can be handled with medicine.
You will stay in the hospital for 1 to 3 days. You may need to stay longer if there are problems.
At the Hospital
The staff will give you pain medicine after surgery.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection such as:
Take these steps when you return home:
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Foot Care MD—American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canada Foot—Canadian Orthopaedic Food and Ankle Society
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Arthritis of the foot and ankle. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00209. Updated March 2015. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Grunfeld R, Aydogan U, et al. Ankle arthritis: review of diagnosis and operative management. Med Clin North Am. 2014 Mar;98(2):267-289.
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the ankle. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteoarthritis-oa-of-the-ankle. Updated April 30, 2018. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Total ankle arthroplasty. Foot Care MD—American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons website. Available at: http://legacy.aofas.org/footcaremd/treatments/Pages/Total-Ankle-Arthroplasty.aspx. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Total ankle replacement surgery for arthritis. University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/?q=patient-care/articles/ankle/total-ankle-replacement-surgery-for-arthritis.html. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardWarren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 4/1/2020