Also called ankle arthroplasty, total ankle replacement is similar to hip or knee replacement surgery. Dr. Colón-Martínez typically performs total ankle replacement surgery for people who suffer from degenerative ankle arthritis that develops as part of the aging process or as a result of an injury. The goal of total ankle replacement is to provide long-term pain relief and help you regain mobility and function.
Total ankle replacement can essentially improve your quality of life and allow you to participate in a more active lifestyle, or at the very least, help you walk without pain.
What are signs that I may need total ankle replacement surgery?
When you experience continuous ankle pain from arthritis or decreased ankle function and other, more conservative therapies are no longer providing relief, you may be a candidate for total ankle replacement surgery. Before considering surgery, other therapies Dr. Colón-Martínez may prescribe include:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Ankle braces
- Activity modification
The advantage of ankle arthroplasty over an alternative such as ankle fusion, which fuses together multiple bones to try to lessen pain and swelling, is that you restore mobility in your ankle, rather than eliminating motion at your ankle joint.
What can I expect with total ankle replacement surgery?
As one of America’s top orthopedic surgeons and foot and ankle specialists, Dr. Colón-Martínez is an expert at ankle replacement surgery. She replaces your ankle joint with metal and plastic parts that allow full range of motion. She can also correct any deformities you may have as a result of your arthritis or injury.
After surgery, you’ll have to keep weight off your new ankle for a period of time to allow it to heal. Once your surgical wound heals enough, you may begin exercising your ankle as long as you don’t have to put any weight on it. Range-of-motion exercises can help your healing process and allow you to move your ankle conservatively.
After a few weeks, Dr. Colón-Martínez usually recommends weight-bearing exercises to begin strengthening your ankle and increasing range of motion. She monitors your progress closely to ensure that your ankle is healing properly and you don’t injure yourself during recovery.
If ankle pain from arthritis or an injury is preventing you from living your best life, and you’ve tried other therapies, it may be time to consider a total ankle replacement. Call the bilingual office for an appointment, request one online, or stop in. Same day appointments are available.