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Ankle replacement surgery

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Ankle replacement surgery can turn an awkward, painful gait into a more natural movement with less pain.

Marshfield Clinic Orthopedic Su​​rgeons specialize in total joint repl​acement​.

They can help you decide if this procedure is right for you.​

Understanding Ankle Replacement Surgery

Ankle replacement surgery is a procedure to treat arthritis of the ankle joint. The damaged ankle joint is removed. It’s replaced with an artificial implant. The implant may be made of metal.

The ankle joint

A joint is a place in the body where bones meet. The ankle joint is actually two joints. One of the joints is called the true ankle joint. The shinbone (tibia), fibula, and talus bones make up this joint. During ankle replacement surgery, parts of the tibia and talus are replaced.

Why ankle replacement surgery is done

The surgery may be a choice for people with arthritis of the ankle joint. Arthritis may make it hard for you to walk. It may make it hard for you to do daily activities. Surgery is a choice when other treatments haven’t worked well enough. These may include exercises, medicine, and heat or cold. Ankle replacement surgery can help stop the pain.

How ankle replacement surgery is done

Your ankle replacement surgery will be done by an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon will make a cut (in incision) through the skin and muscle of your ankle. An incision may also be made on your foot. The damaged parts of your shinbone and talus will be removed. The artificial joints will be attached to your shinbone and talus. A special type of cement may be used to hold them in place. A piece of plastic may be put between the new metal joint spaces. This is so they can glide easily against each other.

Risks of ankle replacement surgery

Every surgery has risks. The risks of ankle fusion include:

  • Infection

  • Damage to nearby nerves

  • Bleeding

  • Blood clots

  • Bones not joining together properly

  • Bones not lining up properly

  • New or worsening arthritis in nearby joints

  • Wearing out of the artificial joint

  • Additional surgery needed

Your risks vary based on your age and general health. For example, if you are a smoker or if you have low bone density, you may have a higher risk for certain problems. People with diabetes that is not controlled well may also have a higher risk for problems. Talk with your health care provider about which risks apply most to you.

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Ankle replacement

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​By the time she was in her mid-40s, Dawn Scheets found herself struggling to walk. It was a pain on several levels.

Read more > ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

How Much Do You Know About Foot Health?

Most people would agree that it's no small problem when their feet ache. Yet few other parts of the body are more neglected in terms of basic personal care. And major foot problems and chronic pain often go ignored. Learning about foot care can help you recognize when to see a healthcare provider for treatment.

1. You should inspect your feet regularly.
2. Trim your toenails to follow the curve of your toe.
3. For people who don't have circulation problems, it's safe to use over-the-counter remedies for foot ailments such as corns or warts.
4. Having a pedicure can treat foot problems.
5. You shouldn't wear the same pair of shoes for two or more days in a row.
6. High heels frequently cause foot problems in women.
7. Years of wearing narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together can cause bunions.