Read about new COVID-19 steps we're taking, effective now

What is a Total Ankle Replacement?

Procedure: Total Ankle Replacement

Although our ankles bear as much body weight as our knees, they are much less likely to develop osteoarthritis – 9 times less likely, in fact! This is in part because ankle cartilage is denser and tougher than knee cartilage. However, just like any joint, it is possible to develop ankle osteoarthritis as you age, especially if you have had previous ankle injuries, surgeries, are overweight, or have other medical conditions that affect joint health. Although there are many different types of procedures that can be done to aid ankle problems, one of the most comprehensive is the total ankle replacement.

Symptoms of Ankle Osteoarthritis

If you develop ankle osteoarthritis, common symptoms include:

— stiffness

— swelling, warmth, and redness

— pain and tenderness when pressure is applied to the joint

— instability

— locking or buckling when you walk

If you are experiencing severe pain or trouble in your ankles, you may be a candidate for a total ankle replacement, or ankle arthroplasty. This procedure, similar to a hip or knee replacement, removes damaged bone and cartilage and replaces that with metal compartments.

The Procedure

The surgical cut for an ankle replacement is usually at the front of the ankle. The surgeon gently move tendons and nerves around in order to reach the bone. The surgeon then removes the damaged bone or cartilage and replace the damaged tibia and talus bones by gluing or cementing the metal parts designed to your ankle. Once the ankle is stabilized, he will sew up the incision.

For approximately 6 weeks, you will wear a cast or brace while your ankle heals.

A successful procedure will largely decrease or rid you of ankle pain and allow you to move your ankle up and down. After an arthroplasty, we recommend you avoid high-impact sports or activities, but you will most likely be able to perform lower impact activities, including swimming, hiking, and cycling after you have recovered.

You will likely need to be more aware of the kinds of shoes you wear. Some patients change their shoes several times a day in order to adjust the stress distribution on their ankle.

Here at MCJR, Dr. Richard Jackson and Dr. Steven Herbst (of Central Indiana Orthopedics) treat ankles and perform total ankle replacement surgeries. If you have concerns about your ankle pain, call our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jackson or Dr. Herbst.

You Might Also Enjoy...

MCJR Launches Pre-Op Program

Midwest Medical Services: Pre-Op Program Preoperative care is a vital piece of preparing for any joint replacement surgery. At MCJR, we do our best to understand your health history and mitigate any risks and complications that may arise. We also...

Meet Dr. Todd Bertrand

Dr. Todd Bertrand specializes in complex joint revisions, joint replacement, and orthopedic oncology. He is one of five orthopedic oncologists in Indiana, highly specialized in the treatment of bone tumors in both adults and children. Dr. Bertrand grew...

Patient Story: Meet Dick

Indianapolis resident Dick Lutin is a patient of Dr. Carter's who underwent hip replacement surgery in August 2018. Dick loves being outdoors and doing his favorite hobby -- fossil hunting -- with his two daughters. When he suffered an injury to...

Treating Meniscus Tears

One of the most common causes of knee pain has nothing to do with your bones and everything to do with the cartilage around your knees. Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries and they can happen at any...

Patient Story: Meet Patrice

Meet Patrice Goodwin, one of our dear patients who is a month shy of her two-year anniversary from getting a left total knee replacement – and she’s back to waterskiing!