What can be expected after having ankle replacement surgery?

Written by: Mr Edward Dawe
Edited by: Conor Lynch

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.

By Mr Edward Dawe
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Edward Dawe is an expert orthopaedic surgeon in Chichester and Worthing practising exclusively in foot and ankle surgery. He specialises in all types of foot and ankle problems, plantar fasciitis, bunions and Achilles tendon injuries and is highly experienced in performing ankle replacement surgery and minimally invasive bunion surgery.

Mr Dawe completed his training in South West London after practising with various different foot and ankle surgeons across London, Sussex and Surrey. He later expanded his experience with a limb reconstruction and complex trauma fellowship at St George's Hospital and then undertook a second fellowship in foot and ankle surgery at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. In 2014, he was awarded the BOFAS visiting fellowship which involved working in Schonklinik, Munich alongside Professor Markus Walther, President of the German Foot and Ankle Society. In addition, Mr Dawe has travelled to Regions Trauma Centre in Minneapolis to work with the renowned trauma specialist Professor Peter Cole.

Mr Dawe treats all areas of orthopaedic foot and ankle problems and employs various techniques and treatments to help you avoid unnecessary surgery. When surgery is required, he is an expert in performing arthroscopic or minimally invasive surgery to improve your experience and recovery time. He has had a broad range of training in all types of foot and ankle surgery including several keyhole techniques and complex revision surgery.

Mr Dawe has published various research papers and been awarded first prizes for his work at both national and international meetings. He is also frequently involved in education, teaching medical students and training orthopaedic surgeons.

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