Ankle replacement or arthroplasty recovery time might range from six to twelve months. While wearing a splint or cast, most patients utilize crutches or a walker. The split or cast immobilizes (keeps the ankle from moving) until it heals. During this period, your doctor may advise you to take blood-clotting drugs. Furthermore, physical therapy following ankle replacement Fort Worth can help you restore ankle mobility. Rehabilitation may involve the following:
- Gait training to assist you in standing and walking.
- Massage to reduce edema.
- Stretches for flexibility and variety of motion.
- Strengthening exercises.
- Weight-bearing activities that become more difficult with time.
Understanding total ankle replacement
The ankle joint is located on the top of your foot, where the shinbone (tibia) joins the talus bone. The slippery surface (known as articular cartilage) that coats the ends of these bones can shrink or degrade over time. As this process progresses, it can cause substantial discomfort, disability, and trouble walking. In some instances, a total ankle replacement may be advantageous. Specifically, this technique may benefit several ailments, including advanced osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, joint injury from gout, or septic arthritis.
Additionally, total ankle replacement surgery uses prostheses to replace broken ankle components (plastic or metal parts). These artificial components function and move in the same way as your natural joint. Also, this treatment is mainly reserved for those with persistent ankle discomfort that interferes with their quality of life.
How to prepare for an ankle arthroplasty
Having realistic expectations before undergoing surgery and rehabilitation (healing) is critical. Discuss how to prepare for the surgery with members of your care team. Knowing what to anticipate might help you prepare for difficulties and establish recovery strategies. Before surgery, your team may advise you to begin physical therapy, discontinue certain medicines, or quit smoking. Also, speak to your family and friends about how you plan to recuperate. After your ankle replacement, you will have difficulty walking. Make a strategy for completing everyday activities. Moreover, you may require assistance with grocery shopping, stair climbing, or pet care.
Will you require a second operation?
Some patients will require second ankle surgery. The plastic and metal elements of the joint replacement may wear out over time. Keeping a healthy body weight can help you keep your prosthetic ankle in good condition. You should also avoid high-impact activities that place undue strain on the joint.
When is ankle fusion preferable to ankle replacement?
Some people may be unable to receive an ankle replacement for some reason. It might be that their bone is too weak, or they have an uncorrectable ankle and foot deformity or malalignment. Replacement is not recommended for persons with specific neuromuscular problems or Charcot arthropathy, which is peripheral neuropathy (loss of feeling) in the foot and ankle. Furthermore, individuals with active infections should be treated with a fusion rather than an ankle replacement.
Ankle arthritis is a prevalent problem. Joint stiffness and discomfort may typically be relieved with rest, ice, elevation, and other simple therapies. Surgery to treat ankle arthritis may be an option when alternative treatments fail. Taking appropriate care of your joints can reduce the likelihood of needing surgery. Also, avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and engage in low-impact activities.
Patients are advised to see their primary care doctors before ankle replacement to ensure they are in the best possible health. Call Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists or book your consultation online to determine if ankle replacement surgery is ideal for you.