Total Ankle Replacement
Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic offers ankle replacement surgery for people battling chronic ankle pain and arthritis.
The procedure can help patients return without pain to the active lifestyle they desire and deserve. Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic has helped many ankle patients enjoy an improved quality of life through this highly successful solution to severe ankle woes.
Signs and symptoms of ankle arthritis
The symptoms of ankle arthritis vary. In general, the arthritic ankle joint will be painful and inflamed. There often are other symptoms, including, but not limited to:
- Pain while engaging in vigorous activity
- Tenderness around the joint
- Swelling, warmth and redness at the joint
- Ankle popping or crunching
- Morning pain and/or swelling
What's an ankle replacement?
During an ankle replacement, a patient’s damaged ankle joint is replaced with an artificial implant. The implant is usually metal or plastic. During this minimally invasive surgery, the orthopedic surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the affected ankle and inserts a new ankle joint.
The new joint is made of metal caps that replace damaged bone, cushioned by a high-grade plastic that simulates a patient’s natural cartilage.
Pre-Ankle Replacement Surgery
Post-Ankle Replacement Surgery
Pre-operative navigation and CT guidance
Ankle replacement surgery has come a long way in recent years. The use of computed tomography (CT) scans in ankle replacement surgery is a testament to that. The orthopedic surgeon uses CT scans to create ankle alignment guides that are based on each patient’s anatomy. Pre-operative navigation allows the surgeon to adjust the alignment of the ankle implant and correct any deformity in the office, rather than in the operating room. This better ensures a tight fit, proper alignment and precise placement of the new ankle joint.
The combination of pre-operative navigation, computer imaging and the patient’s CT scan helps the surgeon determine the optimum size of the patient’s implant and plan the surgery. The result:
- Greater level of detail for implant position, alignment and sizing before the surgical procedure
- Less complexity during surgery
- Less X-ray exposure during the procedure
- Reduced surgical time
- More bone preservation
- Increased mobility (replacement replicates natural anatomy)
The following are U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved ankle replacement devices used by surgeons at Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic:
- PROPHECY® INBONE® Pre-Operative Navigation powered by Wright Medical Technology
- PROPHECY® INFINITY® Pre-Operative Navigation powered by Wright Medical Technology
- INBONE® Total Ankle System powered by Wright Medical Technology
- INFINITY®Total Ankle System powered by Wright Medical Technology
- STAR™ Total Ankle Replacement by Stryker Medical
- Zimmer® Trabecular Metal™ Total Ankle
- Salto Talaris® Ankle Replacement
Ankle replacement versus fusion
Ankle replacement surgery is gaining popularity. Before this technology existed, the solution for a problematic ankle was a fusion procedure in which the ankle joint was fused into one continuous bone. The procedure used screws and plates to set the ankle in a fixed position. It alleviated the pain but meant a loss of a patient’s natural gait and potential pain in other joints in the foot or knee.
Ankle replacement allows a patient to maintain his or her natural gait and range of motion, decreasing potential strain on other joints.
Am I a candidate?
The ideal candidate for an ankle replacement has arthritis in the ankle joint, a damaged ankle joint or other painful ankle condition. Patients often try nonsurgical treatments first, including medication, steroid injections, physical therapy and bracing. If those options fail, patients may find success with a total ankle replacement.
People who’ve had ankle replacement surgery can continue to enjoy many fitness activities, including hiking, biking and skiing. Many patients are more active after surgery because they are finally pain free.
With an ankle replacement, patients maintain the range of motion needed to turn, flex, and walk up an incline. Running and jumping, however, is not recommended.
How long will an ankle replacement last?
Today’s modern ankle replacements are durable and should last 10 to 15 years before they start to wear out. If that happens, the joint can often be repaired by replacing only the plastic part that simulates cartilage, reducing recovery time.
Walk this way
At Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, ankle replacement surgeries are performed by experienced, board-certified specialists.