Total ankle replacement surgery is a procedure where the ankle joint is replaced with an artificial implant. Over time, arthritis can affect the ankle joint by wearing down the bone’s cartilage resulting in direct bone-on-bone contact. This can cause pain, inflammation, swelling, and limited mobility. Once the damaged cartilage and bone are removed, the ankle joint is replaced with two artificial metal implants and a plastic insert placed between them.
If you are dealing with severe arthritis in your ankle due to osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, or other causes, a total ankle replacement may be an excellent choice for you. Conversely from ankle fusions, total ankle replacements preserve the range of motion of the joint.
Dr. Vulcano is one of the leading Orthopedic surgeons in the South Florida, Miami Beach area specializing in ankle arthroplasty. To schedule your consultation and determine if ankle replacement surgery is right for you, please call (786) 386-0062 or contact us online today!
Dr. Ettore Vulcano, MD discusses Ankle Replacement Surgery
Recovery from ankle replacement surgery is unique for every patient. Our goal is to get you back to a pain-free life and ultimately improve your mobility. However, as with any procedure, healing takes time, and it is crucial to give the body the appropriate time to heal, being mindful not to rush the process.
Here is a general guideline of what to expect after your ankle replacement surgery.
Dr. Ettore Vulcano, MD: Risk factors for failure of ankle replacements.
Exercises and range of foot and ankle movement are encouraged around two to three weeks after surgery. We recommend removing the boot for twenty minutes three times a day to exercise.
If the surgery is on your left ankle, you should be able to drive an automatic vehicle at two weeks. If the surgery is on the right ankle, you may drive between four to six weeks.
You may begin to walk in a boot at about two weeks post-surgery. Depending on your level of discomfort and instructions given by Dr. Vulcano, you may start walking without the boot at around six to eight weeks. Wearing orthotic arch supports and stiff-soled shoes for one to two months will be essential for your recovery.
Physical therapy is a vital step in your recovery from ankle replacement surgery. To build up the strength in your ankle for optimal recovery, working with a specialized physical therapist is a must. You will begin therapy at four to six weeks and should plan to see a physical therapist for about one to two months. Dr. Vulcano and our Miami team will help you find a top therapist for your needs.
Regular exercise in a gym is always encouraged. All machines, including bicycle, stair climber, and elliptical machine, are excellent to regain the ankle’s strength and movement. We never recommend that you run, but you can still partake in activities such as golf, prolonged hiking or walking, doubles tennis, bicycling, and under certain circumstances, skiing.
Expect to have moderate swelling of the ankle and leg for about six to nine months.
If you have tried non-surgical procedures to alleviate ankle pain and discomfort but have yet to find relief, please call our Miami Beach location at (786) 386-0062 to schedule a consultation. Whether your goal is to walk without any pain or get back to an active lifestyle, Dr. Vulcano and our team will guide you every step of the way.