Pain Relief is Steps Away
Ankle arthritis affects millions of people in the U.S. and is a common joint disorder that worsens over time. It is often caused by aging, injury, or your body's own immune system can make it hard to move the joint. Osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis are all types of arthritis that can affect your ankle joint. In some cases, the cartilage has worn away, causing bone to rub against bone, which is painful and limits what you can do.
If you have been diagnosed with ankle arthritis and have long-term pain, you may be a candidate for a new way to treat it. Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) surgery is one way to treat arthritis in the ankle. Learn more if the TAR procedure is right for you. Schedule your Ann Arbor Total Ankle Replacement consultation today at Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers. We serve communities within Washtenaw County, such as Dexter, Saline, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor.
A Total Ankle Replacement is an artificial joint that replaces both sides of the ankle joint to relieve arthritis pain and keep your ankle's range of motion intact. The ankle joint connects the leg to the foot. It is made up of two cartilage-covered surfaces that meet at the end of the tibia (or shin) bone and the talus (or ankle) bone.
With a Total Ankle Replacement, the cartilage on these two surfaces will be replaced with "bearing" surfaces made of metal and polyethylene that are firmly attached to the bone. The foot can move up and down because these two joint surfaces can move back and forth. When an ankle joint replacement is done, only the surface of the ankle joint is changed. Keep in mind, if you have arthritis pain in the joints of your foot, this surgery is not likely to alleviate that pain.
Make a Comeback
The main benefit of a Total Ankle Replacement in Ann Arbor is the hope that keeping some movement in the ankle joint will give you more normal function and keep the other joints around the ankle from getting arthritic. An ankle replacement doesn't restore normal movement but may let the foot move just enough to protect the other joints.
Discuss Your Options
A healthy person with arthritis in the ankle with little or no deformity or misalignment of the ankle is the best candidate for a Total Ankle Replacement.
An ankle replacement works best for people who do not strain their feet and ankles with rigorous exercise and are within a healthy weight limit for their body. Ankle replacements can wear out over time and may need to be fixed or changed into an ankle fusion.
If you have diabetes, poor circulation, skin sores, or heart or lung disease, you may be more likely to get an infection, have a problem with your wound, or have another problem after you get a total ankle replacement. Also, a misaligned or crooked ankle can make it more likely that something will go wrong. When these things happen, a Total Ankle Replacement may not be the best approach to treat arthritis in your ankle.
One Step at a Time
Many people who want TAR for painful arthritis in their ankle may also have arthritis or deformities in other joints in their foot.
The main goal of TAR is to relieve pain, so any other sources of pain need to be taken care of for the surgery to go well. Pain relief may require fusing other, less important joints in the back or middle of the foot.
Also, if the ankle or foot is misshapen, like having a tight Achilles tendon, an ankle that turns out, or a very flat foot, the new ankle replacement will be put under too much stress, which can cause it to fail early. In some cases, the TAR surgery can be done along with other procedures. But in many cases, these extra surgeries are extensive and need time to heal before your TAR is done. This means that for Total Ankle Replacement Ann Arbor patients should expect this to be done in two steps, weeks or months apart.
The Path to Recovery
After a successful ankle replacement surgery, you should be able to get dressed and take care of yourself within the first two weeks after your Total Ankle Replacement. You won't be able to stand or walk for about six to eight weeks or until your surgeon says it's okay—typically after you start your physical therapy. Your doctor will tell you about certain restrictions, such as how much walking you can do on your operated ankle. Your doctor will also tell you when you can start moving around more easily and when you can do other things again.
Recent studies have shown that five years after surgery, as many as 90% of total ankle replacements are still in good shape. The ankle replacement seems to last longer in people whose ankles don't have as many problems in their ankle before surgery. Overall, you may need a second surgery about 10 to 15 years after the first one.
Find Relief in Ann Arbor
Stop suffering and find relief to your ankle arthritis with a Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) in Ann Arbor. Your ankle pain may stem from osteoarthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. In rare circumstances, damaged cartilage causes painful bone-on-bone rubbing, limiting movement. Consider the TAR surgery from Arbor-Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Call today.
The problem with ankle replacement is that the parts may wear out, become loose, or break over time. You may need additional surgery depending on how old you are when you get your ankle replaced. An ankle fusion, however, can often last a lifetime.
Your insurer should cover your medically necessary operation in full or in part. If you need assistance and lack insurance or have a high deductible, ask about our financing or payment options during your consultation.
Get relief today at Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers
At Arbor - Ypsi Foot & Ankle Centers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we identify your unique foot and ankle needs and develop a highly effective and individualized treatment plan to resolve them. Our experts will work relentlessly to make you feel better and put your best foot forward.