Ankle replacement surgery is a surgical procedure that is done by a skilled podiatrist. This type of surgery should not be taken lightly, but it might be necessary for you to be able to continue to do the things you love to do.
If you are concerned about your ankle health following an accident, injury, or genetic condition you have, then you may want to think about getting ankle replacement surgery. Since this surgery can be intensive, requires general anesthesia, and has a lot of follow-up and care attached to its recovery and success, it's a decision you should heavily consider along with physical therapy and other alternatives.
Here are signs it's time to consider ankle replacement surgery. Once you have decided it's right for you, speak with your podiatrist so you know exactly what to expect before and after your ankle replacement surgery.
You've exhausted your alternatives
Some podiatrists won't recommend surgeries, including an ankle replacement surgery, until all other options have been exhausted. If you're not seeing the results you need to have with alternative therapies like physical therapy, water aerobics, acupuncture, medications, or even wearing ankle braces or special shoes, then it's time to think about getting ankle replacement surgery to help you feel and live your best.
Your pain is increasing
If your ankle pain is getting worse, then you need to consider getting ankle replacement surgery. Your ankle pain can be related to pinched or damaged nerves or torn muscles or tendons, or it can even be caused by a bone break or fracture that is healing incorrectly. Pain and inflammation should get better with time, not worse, and if your quality of life regarding pain management and comfort is compromised, getting surgery on your ankle may be your only option.
Your podiatrist will take X-rays of your ankle and check its progress compared to the initial injury or presentation of pain. If it turns out that ankle replacement surgery is best for you, you can be scheduled for the procedure at your next exam.
Your mobility is compromised
Your ankle should have ample rotation, and if it doesn't, you can have a compromised range of motion in general. If your ankle is not healing as it should and you cannot bend your ankle or otherwise perform daily activities within reason, ankle replacement surgery may be best for you. Your range of motion can be improved over time once you have healed from surgery, but you will need to undergo regular physical therapy until you have healed.