Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery Questions and Answers
Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists doctors are here to handle your ankle joint replacement surgery if you need one. Visit one of our four clinics today to talk to our specialist surgeons to go over if Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery would be an option for you. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have 4 convenient locations in Elgin IL, Schaumburg IL, Huntley IL, and Chicago IL.
At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, ankle joint replacement is performed through surgery to replace damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint.
Ankle replacement surgery is performed with use of general anesthesia, allowing a patient to sleep comfortably and pain free during the procedure. Spinal anesthesia is another option that may be used for below the waist surgery, depending on the situation.
Prosthetic or artificial joint parts are used to replace your body’s bone during an ankle joint replacement. This process of joint replacement is also known as ankle arthroplasty, and is becoming much more common. Improvements in prosthetic ankle replacements have allowed for a wonderful alternative to ankle fusion for arthritic ankle treatment.
How do I prepare for an ankle replacement?
Before an ankle joint replacement procedure, the decision to proceed should be made once you understand as much about the surgery as possible. Talk with your foot and ankle surgeon before making the decision. A physical examination will likely be required beforehand. You may also require a physical therapist for post-surgery rehabilitation.
Preparation you can follow weeks ahead of surgery:
- Exercise under doctor supervision
- Get a physical from your family doctor
- Get a dental checkup from your dentist
- Quit smoking
- If you are overweight, work on losing some weight before surgery
Preparation closer to the surgery date:
- Book a pre-surgery visit with your surgeon
- Complete any lab tests that the surgeon has ordered
- Complete all health forms required
- Make a few freezer meals ahead of time so it’s easier once you are home
- Contact your physical therapist to start booking out appointments for after surgery
- Talk to your surgeon about your medications and when to stop them
Preparation the night before surgery:
- Fast – if your doctor has requested this
- Clean yourself and use an antiseptic solution that may be provided to you before surgery to clean the surgical area
Preparation for the day of surgery:
- Arrive early to the hospital and complete the registration and administration process
- Change into your hospital gown
- Relax and ask any additional questions you may have to the nurses or surgeon
Preparation for after the surgery:
- The surgeons team will monitor you for a while after surgery to make sure you are doing well
- Surgeon or Nurse may prescribe pain management medication to help with the pain for the days after surgery
- Book your follow-up appointment with the surgeon before you leave
Who is a candidate for ankle replacement?
The most qualified candidate for an ankle replacement surgery is a healthy person with ankle arthritis who has minimal or no deformity or malalignment in the ankle.
What is the recovery time for ankle Joint Replacement surgery?
The goal of ankle joint replacement is to successfully reduce pain and improve movement of the ankle joint. Artificial joints give the benefit of easing ankle osteoarthritis symptoms while providing enhanced ankle mobility.
However, for the recovery time for an ankle joint replacement surgery depends on each individuals progress. Usually six weeks after the procedure, the patient will start to wear a boot cast or splint and use assistance when moving around. During the first two weeks of that transition, patients should limit their movements to allow healing of the incision. If progress is moving along well, the surgeon will instruct the patient to remove the boot to perform physical therapy exercises directed by a physical therapist.
There are a few factors that can play into how fast a patient recovers from an ankle joint replacement surgery like age, health conditions, and certain variables within the replacement. For a better outlook on your own recovery time, talk to your surgeon about what to expect for you.
How soon can you walk after ankle replacement?
Depending on each individual’s circumstances, it can take up to a full year for you to walk like you used too before surgery and get back to your normal activities. You should eventually be able to swim, hike, bike etc. soon after you can walk easily again. Avoid any high-impact sports like running or contact sports, this can damage the new ankle.