Have you been considering a total ankle replacement but aren't sure if it's the right treatment for you? Drs. Brandon and Sarah James, your New Braunfels, TX, podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Surgery of New Braunfels, share information that will help you decide.
Why is total ankle replacement surgery performed?
Total ankle replacement surgery offers a way to end your pain and improve your quality of life if more conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatories or other types of medication, haven't helped. It's usually only recommended if you have difficulty walking, have range of movement issues and suffer from severe pain due to joint damage. Damage can occur if you've been in an accident, had a bone fracture or infection or have osteo or rheumatoid arthritis.
Am I a good candidate for surgery?
Your doctor will decide if surgery is a good choice for you after performing a physical examination and evaluating your test results. You must be in good health, have no current infections, have good skin coverage over your ankle and must have good muscle control. Surgery may not be recommended if you have diabetes, in some cases, as the disease can interfere with healing. Although total ankle replacement surgery is typically performed on older people, the decision to offer the surgery is based on your condition, not your age.
What happens during the surgery?
During surgery, the bones and cartilage in your ankle joint will be replaced with an artificial joint comprised of a bearing made of metal and plastic. You'll receive general anesthesia before surgery begins and will stay in the hospital for one or two nights. A cast or splint will help keep your ankle stable while you recover. Your New Braunfels foot doctor will probably advise you to avoid putting any weight on the ankle for two or three months. Physical therapy may also be recommended.
Total ankle replacement can change your life if you suffer from joint damage. Call Drs. Brandon and Sarah James, your New Braunfels, TX, podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Surgery of New Braunfels, at (830) 387- 4427 to schedule an appointment to discuss your ankle pain.