Am I a Candidate for Total Ankle Replacement

Am I a Candidate for Total Ankle Replacement?

Total ankle replacement is a surgical procedure where a degenerated ankle joint is replaced with an artificial implant. Chronic ankle pain and limited mobility are common reasons patients may consider this option. Foot pain treatment options can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s medical history. Here are some signs that may indicate you are a candidate for total ankle replacement:

Stiffness Limits Your Mobility

Stiffness can be caused by various conditions such as arthritis, previous injuries, or congenital disabilities. You may experience difficulty walking or performing daily activities. Total ankle replacement allows for improved range of motion and function in the affected ankle joint. The artificial implant mimics the ankle’s natural movement, allowing for more fluid motion and less pain during activities. This can improve your quality of life and enable you to resume normal activities that were previously hindered due to stiffness.

Extreme stiffness can also lead to an uneven weight distribution on your feet. This can cause problems with balance and increase your risk of falls. Total ankle replacement helps correct this imbalance and restore stability, making walking and moving around easier and safer.

Ankle Instability Affects Your Balance

Ankle instability is a common condition that can affect your balance and make daily activities difficult or unsafe. The ligaments and tendons in the ankle joint are responsible for keeping it stable. If they become damaged or weak, the joint may become unstable. Signs of ankle instability include:

  • Recurrent sprains.
  • Frequent episodes of giving way.
  • Difficulty walking on uneven surfaces.

This can significantly impact your balance, making walking, standing, or even performing simple tasks difficult. Total ankle replacement may be recommended for those who experience persistent ankle instability that doesn’t improve with non-surgical treatments.

Conservative Treatments Don’t Help

Conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, and bracing, are often the first line of defense for ankle pain. If these methods have not provided relief or have only had temporary effects, it may indicate that total ankle replacement is necessary. The failure of conservative treatments to alleviate ankle pain can be due to a variety of reasons, such as chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or severe injury. A foot pain treatment can help slow the progression of osteoarthritis and minimize damage by reducing friction.

Experiencing Persistent Ankle Pain Even During Rest

Total ankle replacement may be necessary when conservative treatments fail to relieve persistent ankle pain, even during rest. This can occur for various reasons, such as chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or severe injury. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage in our joints. When it occurs in the ankle, it can cause significant pain and stiffness, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

Osteoarthritis can progress rapidly, leading to persistent ankle pain even during rest. This is when the damaged cartilage can no longer effectively cushion and protect the bones in the joint, resulting in increased friction and wear. 

You Become Less Active Due to Ankle Pain

Ankle pain can make it challenging to engage in physical activities, leading to a sedentary lifestyle that can affect your health. You may become less active when constantly experiencing pain and stiffness in your ankles. It requires the intervention of a physical therapist, or you may refrain from any exertion of movement that causes discomfort in your ankle. Total ankle replacement surgery is considered in severe cases when the pain is chronic and doesn’t respond well to other forms of treatment. This procedure aims to replace damaged bone and cartilage with artificial parts that can closely replicate the natural function of your ankle. 

Transform Your Life with Proper Foot Pain Treatment

Ankle pain can impact your daily activities and overall quality of life. If you are experiencing persistent foot pain that is not responding well to other forms of treatment, it may be worth considering total ankle replacement surgery. This procedure can help alleviate discomfort and improve mobility. Find the right physical therapist to assist in developing the right treatment plan for you. 

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