An ankle prosthesis means that the ankle joint is replaced with artificial material. Pain in osteoarthritis is the most common complaint leading to ankle prosthesis.
Pain caused by osteoarthritis of the ankle lead to:
- Limited walking distance
- Disturbed sleep
- Walking stairs is difficult
- Swollen ankle
- Dis-alignment of the ankle may be an "O" or "X" position; using an ankle prosthesis is not possible
- Obstruction in bending of the Ankle
The procedure is as follows:
- The operation is performed under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia
- Once the damaged bone has been removed, the artificial parts can be inserted and with the bone prepared to fit and stabilize the ankle
- With the parts inserted, the Ankle joint performance is examined and finally placed in position.
- The wound is applied with a drain for excess of blood and/or fluid disposal, local anesthesia and closed with stitches
- After 14 days the wound is inspected and stitches removed
- A plaster cast is needed for 6 weeks after surgery
- We use the latest techniques to minimize tissue damage so that recovery is progressing at a fast pace after surgery.
To undergo an ankle replacement is not a daily matter. An Ankle replacement is major surgery with an extended recovery period. It is important to consider all consequences. The better your physical condition before your treatment, the better your recovery after surgery.
Frequent asked questions (FAQ)
How long takes an Ankle replacement procedure?
The average duration of an ankle replacement is between 60 and 90 minutes.
How long will an Ankle replacement last?
Research shows 15 years but each individual has potential differences such as heavy use can shorten the lifecycle.
Is an Ankle revision possible?
Replacing the replacement Ankle is usually more complicated and a longer procedure than the original surgery. There is no set limit to the number of times you can have revision surgery, but it is widely accepted that the artificial Ankle joint becomes less effective each time it is replaced.
What are the consequences of an infection of the Ankle replacement?
When a total joint replacement becomes infected, it may loosen, become painful, and need to be removed. When infections occur within 6 weeks after surgery it is treated by extensive rinsing of the Ankle and giving antibiotics. Unfortunately, even if the implant is washed clean during surgery, most types of infections require removal of the implant to cure the infection.
My Ankle makes clicking noises. Why is this and can it hurt?
In Ankle replacement, the ends of the bones that make up the Ankle joint are “resurfaced” with metal and plastic components. Because there is almost always some laxity in a replaced Ankle, clicking can sometimes be heard as a result of contact between the metal and plastic components during activity. Often it is heard during a transition from low or non-weight bearing to weight bearing. For example, a patient may hear the click while walking as the leg comes out of swing phase and makes contact at heal strike. For the most part, the clicking is usually not associated with any adverse conditions
Should I take antibiotics for treatment by the dentist if I have an Ankle replacement?
Patients who have joint replacement surgery are at risk for developing infections of the implanted joints. Once bacteria that have traveled through the bloodstream find implanted joints, the body's immune system has a difficult time fighting the infection.
How old do I have an Ankle replacement to get?
For young people with arthritis (usually under age 40-50) it is desirable to avoid a joint replacement if possible, since patients in that age group are very likely to outlive the joint replacement. In those individuals, who represent a very unusual circumstance, there are other surgical options available. For people in "middle age" or older, an Ankle replacement is usually the best choice to relieve the pain of Ankle arthritis, and restore a reasonable level of function.
Will I ‘beep’ at an airport, with Ankle prosthesis, as I go through the gate?
Not common but especially in thin patients or multiple implants it can happen.