Total ankle replacement surgery is a procedure that replaces damaged or worn out ankle joint surfaces with new metal or plastic surfaces.
During your ankle replacement, your ankle surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and replace it with a metal or plastic piece made specifically for the ankle.
Your ankle is made up of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. During the ankle replacement procedure, your surgeon will remove parts of the tibia and the talus, and possibly part of the fibula, to make space for the ankle joint implant.
You will be able to go home 1 or 2 days after ankle replacement surgery. You will likely experience some pain after surgery, but pain medication will be prescribed for you to stay on top of the pain. You will need to keep weight off your ankle for the first six weeks, and you may require ankle support during healing after your procedure.
Following your ankle replacement, there are certain do’s and don’ts that you should adhere to regarding postsurgery care, including:
- Do follow your physical therapy program and perform the exercises two or three times per day
- Do ask for assistance, especially in the first few weeks following surgery
- Do avoid placing your leg in any extreme position
- Do elevate your leg frequently during your recovery period
- Do not overexert yourself or push yourself too hard
- Do not put any weight on your ankle until you have been cleared to do so by your surgeon