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Foot & Ankle

  • Ankle Replacement Surgery

Ankle Replacement Surgery

Bryan is using a new alternative in ankle replacement surgery that could allow you a pain-free return to all of your favorite activities. Using a newer implant that is unique to Bryan Medical Center, you can undergo this procedure in our hospital and be fully recovered in as little as six to eight weeks. Although artificial ankle joints have improved over the past 20 years, they can still be damaged by high-impact activities such as running and jumping. We believe that they're better suited for healthy people older than age 60 who have less active lifestyles.

What is ankle replacement surgery?

During ankle replacement surgery, the ends of the damaged bones are removed, and a replacement joint made of plastic and metal is fitted onto the bones. The artificial joint helps the ankle retain more natural movement, so there is less risk of arthritis developing in nearby joints.

Joshua Vest, MD, explains the benefits of ankle replacement surgery to help patients return to daily activities without pain

Is ankle replacement surgery right for you?

You may be a good candidate for ankle replacement surgery if:

  • You are older than 50
  • You do not participate in high-impact sports or work
  • You are not significantly overweight
  • You have a history of severe ankle injuries (multiple serious sprains, fractures, ligament tears) that have made your ankle joint unstable and left you with chronic pain and swelling
  • The results of an MRI scan may have led to a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear” arthritis) where the cartilage that normally cushions bones in the joints have worn away, leading to painful bone-on-bone contact
  • You’ve been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, that causes chronic pain, stiffness and disability that has not responded to other kinds of non-surgical treatment (such as pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, limiting activity, wearing an ankle brace, shoe modifications, applying heat and physical therapy)
  • You have already undergone ankle fusion which has not fully or permanently improved or relieved your symptoms or that has caused other problems in your ability to move around

Ankle replacement vs. ankle fusion

Ankle fusion is better suited for younger individuals with active lifestyles. It decreases natural movement in the ankle, but usually is very successful in relieving arthritis pain.

Ankle replacement is better for those older than 50 who do not participate in high-impact sports or work. The artificial joint helps the ankle retain more natural movement, so there is less risk of arthritis developing in nearby joints.

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