Ankle replacement - Overview
Ankle arthroplasty - total; Total ankle arthroplasty; Endoprosthetic ankle replacement; Ankle surgery
Definition of Ankle replacement:
Ankle replacement is surgery to replace the damaged parts of the three bones that make up the ankle joint. Artificial joint parts (prosthetics) are used to replace your own bones. They come in different sizes to fit different-size people.
Ankle replacement surgery may be done while you are under general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and pain-free. Or, you may have spinal anesthesia. You will be awake but will not feel anything below your waist. If you have spinal anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to help you relax during the operation.
Your surgeon will make a surgical cut in the front of your ankle to expose the ankle joint. Your surgeon will then gently push the tendons, nerves, and blood vessels to the side. After this:
- Your surgeon will remove the damaged bone.
- Your surgeon will reshape three of your bones that will remain in place:
- The lower end of your shin bone (tibia)
- The lower end of your smaller lower leg bone (fibula)
- The top of your foot bone (talus) that the leg bones rest on
- The parts of the new artificial joint are then attached to the cut bony surfaces. A special glue/bone cement may be used to hold them in place. Often, screws are also placed through the two leg bones (fibula and tibia) to help support the artificial ankle.
- A bone graft is created between the ends of the fibula and tibia. This makes your new ankle more stable.
After putting the tendons back into place, the surgeon closes the wound with sutures (stitches). You may need to wear a brace for a while to keep the ankle from moving.
Why the Procedure Is Performed:
Ankle replacement surgery may be done if the ankle joint is severely damaged. Your symptoms may be pain and loss of movement of the ankle. Some causes of damage are:
- Reviewed last on: 2/19/2011
- Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Unviersity of Washington, School of Medicine; and C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Ishikawa SN. Total ankle arthroplasty. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 5.
Hansen ST Jr. Post-traumatic reconstruction of the foot and ankle. In: Browner BD, Jupiter JB, Levine AM, Trafton PG, Krettek C, eds. Skeletal Trauma. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 62.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the
diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be
consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all
medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not
constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is
© 2011 University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). All rights reserved.
UMMC is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System,
22 S. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. TDD: 1-800-735-2258 or 1.866.408.6885