The ankle joint is made up of strong ligaments to provide stability and flexibility, and smooth cartilage that coats the bones to minimize friction during movement. The ankle can be vulnerable to injury (particularly in sports), and arthritis can damage the cartilage and thereby result in painful bone-on-bone rubbing.
Ankle replacement surgery, also called ankle arthroplasty, is performed to fully replace a damaged ankle joint with a prosthetic joint. This is done to greatly improve ankle function and to relieve severe pain caused by arthritis, injury, or other conditions.
Let’s talk about what is involved in receiving an ankle replacement, and where you can go for an evaluation and treatment of your ankle pain.
Regaining Ankle Function After Surgery
Following ankle surgery, your leg will initially be immobilized, and you will be asked to keep the ankle elevated as much as possible in order to reduce pain and swelling. Elevating the area harnesses gravity to pull fluids back to the heart naturally, which relieves pressure. The pain should ease over the first few days. You may need to have follow-up X-rays to assess how the surgery went.
You will probably need to wear a splint for a couple of weeks after your surgery, and you may need to use crutches for several weeks while your ankle area gets stronger. Your splint may be replaced with a boot or a cast at some point.
How Will I Know What to Do?
Your surgeon will give you instructions about how to move your foot while you recover. You may not be able to put your full weight on your foot for a few months.
It is of utmost importance to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions regarding rehabilitation, medicines, and wound care. Your follow-up appointments will allow your surgeon to monitor your progress and adjust things if necessary, such as medications.
Are There Any Risks to the Surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there is a slight chance of developing an infection, nerve damage, bleeding, blood clots, and loosening of the prosthetic material. Be sure to let your surgeon know right away if your pain increases or if you experience a high fever or chills.
Joint Replacement Surgery in New Jersey
If you are suffering persistent pain, reduced function, or instability of your ankle, have a medical evaluation performed by a board-certified surgeon here at the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. We use the latest techniques in joint treatment and ankle replacement surgery, including minimally invasive procedures, to allow you to get back to your daily routine as soon as possible.
If you would like to book a consultation with one of our specialists to discuss your options, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (973) 989-0888 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!