The ankle joint is vital for many movements such as walking and injuries to this joint are most likely to happen if you are active in sports or any other activity. Trauma can cause severe damage to your ankle joint, while other conditions that could damage your ankle include arthritis and chronic pain. You should treat ankle conditions as soon as you feel unwell as the ankle is a susceptible joint; if your ankle has mild damage, your doctor could recommend the use of heat and cold therapies, medications, or surgeries to correct the condition. If the ankle does not respond to conservation treatment, then you should consider total ankle replacement. Find an expert in total ankle replacement in Las Vegas who will help you deal with your joint problems.
When to Have a Total Ankle Replacement
If you have utilized all traditional methods of dealing with a damaged ankle joint in vain, then total ankle replacement might be the procedure that could help improve your condition. This procedure is usually the last resort and could help you restore your ankle to normal function. Some conditions could make it necessary to get a total ankle replacement, and these include:
- Damage from rheumatoid arthritis
- Wear and tear that results from osteoarthritis
- Reduced range of ankle joint motion
- Post-traumatic arthroplasty
- Chronic pain in the ankle joint
Total Ankle Replacement Procedure
Total ankle replacement involves the replacement and restoration of three primary components of the ankle joint. The parts of the ankle that is replaced by this procedure include the tibiotalar joint, which is the ankle joint, the tibia, and the talus, which forms the foot bone. Your ankle joint surgeon will remove the damaged portions of the ankle joint and attach medical grade artificial joints components to the ankle. After preparing the bones, the surgeon will realign all the bones and the connective tissues to the artificial ankle. The surgeon then places a specialized plastic spacer between the bones that act as shock absorbers and goes ahead to surgically close the new ankle joint.
The Recovery Process after Total Ankle Replacement
Total ankle replacement is a major orthopedic procedure, and it could require an inpatient treatment arrangement for a few nights. After the total ankle replacement surgery, the doctor will move you to a recovery room where the ankle will be placed in an elevated position, which helps you avoid putting weight on the freshly operated ankle.
Once your ankle improves, you will go home where you will use crutches and wear a splint for a few weeks. You might require the services of physical therapists who will help you with personalized exercises that help improve your condition at home to promote blood flow to the ankle and promote healing. It can take about eight weeks for you to go back to normal activities after total ankle surgery, and it is prudent to care for the ankle to avoid exposing it to injuries before it heals properly.
The Bottom Line
Total ankle surgery could be beneficial, especially if you have severe damage to the joint. The surgery helps get rid of damaged bones and incorporates new ones that help improve your condition. Your doctor will conduct an exam on the ankle joint and conduct surgery to replace damaged bones, and it could help if you have an inpatient treatment plan. The ankle will heal entirely after eight weeks, and it is prudent to take care of it while recovering to avoid injuries before you heal correctly.