Total Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery in Des Moines & Mason City

Have you been experiencing mild to severe foot and ankle pain? Are you tired of living with ankle arthritis? If so, look no further than the industry-leading podiatrists at East Village Foot & Ankle. Our team of specialists and staff have been serving Iowans suffering from foot and ankle injuries and conditions for years and have ample experience in foot and ankle care services. Contact EVFAS today for your ankle joint replacement.

What Is Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery?

Total ankle replacement is a surgical procedure used to treat ankle arthritis. End stage arthritis of the ankle is a leading cause of chronic disability in North America. Historically, the prevailing option for patients with painful end-stage ankle arthritis has been ankle fusion. While ankle fusion can successfully relieve the pain within the joint, the resulting range of motion restriction can shift motion stresses to the adjacent joints, which in time also become arthritic. In more recent years, total ankle replacement has been refined and now has become a viable option to ankle fusion and has a high patient acceptance. In a survey of the world literature on ankle fusion versus ankle replacement surgery, the safety profile of the two procedures are comparable.

In the United States, total ankle replacement surgery is currently a safe and effective treatment option for select patients with end stage ankle arthritis. Ankle joint replacement has a 90% patient satisfaction rate within the first four years after the procedure. Studies have shown total ankle replacement surgery improves patient function, reduces pain, and promotes improved quality of life. You may experience pain right after the procedure, but it can be eased with pain medicines provided by your physician. The pain will begin to dissipate after a few days.

Total Ankle Replacement Surgery for Ankle Arthritis

Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is the replacement of the damaged tibiotalar joint with an artificial implant. This joint is affected by ankle arthritis, which can lead to other joints in the foot if untreated. The TAA procedure is utilized to eliminate pain and swelling caused by the arthritis by replacing the damaged joint.

Not every patient with end-stage arthritis of the ankle is a sound candidate for ankle replacement. A surgeon experienced in total ankle surgery can make this determination through careful physical evaluation and imaging. As with any total joint replacement, patients who are candidates for this procedure should be make aware of alternative treatments and expected outcomes. Furthermore, adjunctive procedures are often necessary as part of the surgical plan to ensure proper device function.

The Difference Between Ankle Fusion & Total Ankle Replacement

An ankle arthrodesis is a reconstructive surgical procedure, also used to treat ankle arthritis, where an injured ankle joint is converted into an immobile segment of bone. The motion between these bones is essentially eliminated in an ankle fusion.

Ankle fusion is most commonly used for patients who have ankle arthritis related to an injury. The primary difference between ankle fusion and total ankle replacement is in the names. Our specialists often recommend ankle fusion for patients who want to get rid of their ankle pain for good. The procedure involves cleaning the worn out ankle joint and fusing the bones together with screws, plates and bone grafts.

Ankle joint replacement, on the other hand, is much newer. The recovery time for TAA is more brief than that of ankle fusion. This option is recommended for patients looking to return to their active lifestyles because the artificial joint, designed to copy the natural movement of the ankle, enables you to experience a greater range of motion with less pain. Choosing which option is right for you should be done with your foot and ankle specialist. To schedule an initial consultation, please call East Village Foot & Ankle Surgeons in Des Moines (515.282.6067) or Mason City (641.423.3367) today!

Recovering from Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery

Our doctors find it just as important for their patients undergoing ankle arthritis surgery to be fully prepared for the recovery time as they are the procedure. Ankle joint replacement recovery time typically involves spending the first 6 weeks after the procedure in a boot or splint. This provides enough support to move about when ready. In fact, your doctor will ask you to get up and move using crutches or a walker as soon as you can. Once the boot or splint is removed, your doctor will refer you to physical therapy for further evaluation and treatment. The total ankle joint replacement recovery time varies between patients as it depends much on the extent of the patient’s condition, their age, and whether they have any other health conditions. However, it’s important to trust the recovery process and avoid rushing it along. This will allow for the best recovery.

Is Total Ankle Replacement Surgery Right for You?

It’s important to understand that not everyone suffering from ankle arthritis is a good candidate for ankle joint replacement. To find out if you qualify, call a foot and ankle specialists at EVFAS. Our team ensures that all patients are thoroughly educated on the risks and benefits of ankle arthritis surgery. This includes post-operative recovery and alternative treatment options. Surgery becomes required if a patient has exercised a plethora of non-surgical treatments and continues experiencing everyday pain. It is also important to understand the role an individual’s physical and social factors play when choosing if ankle arthritis surgery is right for them. Patients who are overweight and have a lower physical demand should not be considered for the procedure.

Choose Iowa’s Leading Foot & Ankle Surgeons at EVFAS

Find out if you qualify for ankle arthritis surgery. The leading podiatrists at EVFAS are here to treat your foot and ankle needs. Schedule an appointment today, or call a foot and ankle specialist with any questions related to ankle joint replacement.