Foot & Ankle Surgery located in Fort Worth and Weatherford, TX

Total Ankle Replacement: How it Can Help Your Severe Ankle Arthritis

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Total Ankle Replacement: How it Can Help Your Severe Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition that causes joint pain and inflammation. Severe arthritis in your ankles can create instability that affects your ability to walk. Read on to find out how total ankle replacement can help get you back on your feet.

Arthritis is a condition that inflames your joints, and over time can wear down the cartilage and other materials that allow joints to function properly. This condition affects nearly 60 million people, and while it is more common in the elderly, millions of working age adults (between 18-64 years of age) suffer from some form of this illness. 

Your ankles are a common place to deal with arthritis over time, and severe cases of this illness can make it difficult for you to walk. Treating severe arthritis in your ankles can be managed with a few different methods, but total ankle replacement will help restore normal quality of life. Let’s explore this treatment by looking at the types of arthritis, what total ankle surgery does to help, and what you can expect during the procedure.

Residents of the Fort Worth, Texas, area looking for relief from arthritis can find help with Drs. Gary Driver, Glen Beede, Gregory Jaryga, and the skilled medical team at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists.

Types of arthritis

Your joints are the intersection of specific bones that allow your wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles to move. It accomplishes this in combination with other tissue such as cartilage, tendons, and muscles that all work together to allow for smooth movement. The pain, stiffness, swelling, and aching in your joints can stem from different types of arthritis, such as:

  • Osteoarthritis: the most common form of this illness, it wears down the connective tissue in your joints
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: a disease where the immune system attacks healthy joint tissue, leading to severe joint damage
  • Lupus: another condition where your immune system attacks your joints, which can also affect many other organs in the body
  • Psoriatic arthritis: inflammation of your joints and skin that often shows up with red, patchy, scaly areas of skin
  • Gout: results from a buildup of uric acid crystals in your joints, that commonly starts with sudden pain in your big toe

Of the different types of gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis are most associated with severe problems in your foot, and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are commonly responsible for problems in your ankles.

How a total ankle replacement will help

When dealing with arthritis bad enough to affect your ability to move around, ankle replacement surgery is the best way to repair the joint while maintaining as much flexibility and motion as possible. Also referred to as ankle arthroplasty, this surgery replaces damaged portions of your ankle with either metal or plastic prosthetics designed to function just like a natural joint. This will allow you to move normally and without pain when all other methods of treating your ankle pain fails.

What to expect from the procedure

Once the damage is assessed and the necessary prosthetic is acquired, the procedure begins with general anesthesia or a nerve block. Once that’s done, an incision is made in the center of the joint line to expose the damaged area. Next, the damaged material is removed and the joint surface is prepared for the prosthetic, all the while protecting the crucial nerves and tendons in the joint. Then, the replacement pieces are placed in and the joint is checked for range of motion. The procedure is completed after proper foot and ankle alignment is established.

This can be done as either inpatient or outpatient surgery, and if you end up staying in the hospital when it’s performed, you should only need to be there for a day after.

Ankle arthritis can be severe, but when everything else fails, a total ankle replacement can help you get back on your feet. If you’re ready to be free of ankle pain, make an appointment with Drs. Driver, Beede, Jaryga and the team at Trinity Foot & Ankle Specialists today.