When Should I Consider Ankle Joint Replacement?

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ankle-replacementFor patients that have severe arthritis in the shoulder, knee or hip, joint replacement is a common procedure. Many people are unaware that joint replacement can also be a viable option for arthritic ankles. Because the ankle is a weight-bearing joint that is important to foot movement and flexibility, it is susceptible to gradual cartilage breakdown. Although steroid injections and anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve some of the pain, surgery is often the best solution when conservative treatments fail.

Patients that undergo an ankle replacement can expect vastly improved ankle functionality, better range of motion, and a pain-free living experience. This is in sharp contrast to results that are achieved from an ankle fusion procedure, which not only increases the odds of developing future arthritis but eliminates ankle movement. An ankle implant generally lasts for a decade or longer. With today’s advanced surgical techniques and improved prosthesis devices, it is now possible to have a new ankle joint that provides a smooth motion.

The recovery for an ankle replacement is relatively short. Generally, the patient spends one night in a hospital following surgery. Afterward, care must be taken to reduce pressure on the ankle for several weeks. This is normally accomplished with the aid of crutches or a walker. Full recovery can take up to three months although this can depend on the age and health of the patient.

For people that meet the criteria for an ankle replacement surgery there are tremendous advantages. Some of the benefits include less ankle swelling, increased mobility, and a more active lifestyle. There are a growing number of physicians being trained in this area of practice, and ankle replacement procedures will continue to flourish. There is no reason to put up with sore ankles that limit your freedom. Consider rejuvenating your body with a safe and effective ankle implant.

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