Good Candidates for Ankle Arthroplasty
Ankle replacement surgery is usually a last choice for doctors; however, there are a few types of patients that are good candidates. Typical recipients of ankle replacements have a joint that has been severely damaged by injury, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Patients, who have had a prior ankle surgery, like ankle fusion surgery, are also candidates for ankle arthroplasty. Older patients tend to be the better candidates because they are usually have decreased activity levels. Ankle replacements can wear out; so the less active the patient, the better an ankle replacement will perform.
How The Surgery Is Performed
An ankle replacement surgery involves many steps for the surgeon so most patients are under general anesthetic. Once under anesthesia the surgeon will begin by removing the damaged areas of bone and cartilage. Then, to accommodate the replacement joint, the surgeon will need to reshape the bones that comprise the ankle. These bones make up the bones in the lower leg, the tibia and fibula, and the bone in the top of the foot called the talus. The surgeon then attaches the replacement joint to the ankle. After the joint is replaced the tendons are reattached and the incision is stitched up.