Ankle arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and decreased mobility in the ankle. In this article, we are going to talk about ankle arthritis and when ankle replacement surgery is a good treatment option.
Ankle Arthritis Symptoms
Typically, people with ankle arthritis have pain in their ankle (sometimes coupled with swelling). The ankle, unlike the hip and the knee, doesn’t just wear out from wear and tear. Most people have traumatic incidents, recurrent sprains, or previous injuries / surgeries that cause ankle arthritis.
In general, people have difficulty walking up or down inclines or stairs, as well as problems doing rotational activities.
How is Ankle Arthritis Treated?
Often, people who have ankle arthritis want to know what they can do to regain their lifestyle. People want to be active, participate in sports and exercise, and more. Ankle arthritis can really limit a person’s ability to be active. There are a lot of good conservative treatment methods, such as bracing, orthotics, and even cortisone injections. If these conservative methods fail and you’re still dealing with ankle pain on a daily basis, then we would consider a surgical procedure.
Surgical Treatment Options
For ankle arthritis, there are two main options for surgical treatment – ankle fusion, or ankle replacement. The best option for you will depend on your age, and activity level.
The ankle joint is different than the hip or knee joint. An ankle replacement typically lasts about 10-15 years, after which the patient would likely need another replacement. So a patient in their 30s is typically better suited for an ankle fusion procedure.
What to Know About Ankle Replacement Surgery
Ankle replacement is a specific and complex procedure, and it’s important to make sure that a particular patient is a good candidate for the procedure before moving forward. The procedure begins by making an incision at the front of the ankle. We take out the worn joint surfaces and damaged cartilage. These are then replaced with metal and plastic components, which allow the ankle to move up and down.