Do you have a stiff, painful ankle due to arthritis, an old sports injury or an automobile accident? At Potomac Podiatry Group, foot doctors, Dr. Vincent Bonini and Dr. Robert Toomey, see many patients of all ages who need to improve their comfort level and optimize foot and ankle function. For some, the answer is total ankle replacement surgery. Complex, yet very effective, this procedure produces excellent outcomes. Could it work for you?
Your ankle joint
It does a whole lot more than you may think. Composed of the ends of the tibia and fibula and the foot, this tibiotalar joint operates like a door hinge, helping you run, walk, pivot and just stand in one place.
In addition to bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels and nerves, your ankle contains articular cartilage, smooth, white tissue that covers the bone ends. Responsible for efficient and comfortable movement, the ankle joint can deteriorate when cartilage wears down. Bone on bone grinding results, as does inflammation and pain. This is called end-stage ankle arthritis.
When your ankle hurts
John Hopkins Medicine says that ankle replacement surgery may be your best treatment option when medications, physical therapy, rest and supportive devices no longer provide adequate relief and functionality. However, only Dr. Bonini or Dr. Toomey at Potomac Podiatry Group can tell you for sure through hands-on examination, X-rays and other kinds of imaging.
If it is the right choice, expect a completely restored ankle. The procedure involves general anesthesia and a post-operative recovery period of about six weeks.
The surgery removes the damaged cartilage and bone ends, replacing them with metal prosthetics and plastic articular surfaces. Rest, immobilization and crutches are musts in the post-operative period.
Feel better, and get moving