This article below contains some key nuggets of information regarding ankle replacement surgery, as highly regarded orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Edward Dawe, gives us a comprehensive insight into what the surgery entails, and reveals whether or not it is more effective than an ankle fusion.
What is an ankle replacement?
Ankle replacement is a technique for replacing the ankle joint. It takes away arthritis pain in the ankle, and changing the inside of the joint with some metal components that allow you to use and move your ankle.
What conditions are treated with ankle replacement surgery?
The surgery is most commonly needed for osteoarthritis in the ankle joint. If the arthritis pain in the ankle is severe enough and other treatment methods have failed, then ankle replacement surgery becomes a very suitable option. Patients who develop rheumatoid arthritis in the ankle may need to consider ankle replacement surgery, too.
Is an ankle replacement more effective than an ankle fusion? If so, why?
The advantage of an ankle replacement is that the recovery is slightly easier and the joint itself moves. The main disadvantage of an ankle fusion is that it has a stiffening effect on the ankle, which puts more strain on the other arthritic ankle joints. It has to be said that both options are very effective when it comes to treating ankle arthritis.
What can be expected after having ankle replacement surgery?
Most patients have the surgery under either general or spinal anaesthetic. It is possible to go home the same day, although most patients stay overnight in hospital. You would then need to spend around two weeks in a plaster cast without bearing any weight on your ankle.
At the end of that period of time, I would tend to change patients into a boot, which allows them to start to walk again. By the time I see patients after six weeks, they are normally walking fairly comfortably, with most patients being able to get out for a short walk around the six to eight-week period following ankle replacement surgery.
How long does it take for an ankle replacement to wear out?
Around three per cent of ankle replacements will fail over time each year in the UK.
To schedule in an appointment today with Mr Edward Dawe, visit his Top Doctors profile.