Many foot and ankle orthopedic conditions can be treated without surgery. However, when you and your doctor decide that surgery is the best option, you want to go to the hospital that performs more orthopedic surgical procedures than any other hospital in New England.
Board-certified in podiatric medicine and surgery, our physicians also have expertise in the management of diabetic foot problems including ulcers, Charcot arthropathy and other nail/toe problems.
Total ankle replacement (or ankle arthroplasty) is a surgical treatment for people with end-stage osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease in which the articular cartilage (the tough but flexible tissue covering the ends of the bones) gradually wears away, or rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory condition where the body attacks and breaks down the articular cartilage.
In most cases, ankle osteoarthritis is related to a previous ankle injury and is termed, post-traumatic arthritis. X-rays, CT scans and MRI imaging help determine the severity of the ankle cartilage damage.
In a normal ankle, the articular cartilage creates the appearance of a symmetric joint space between the three bones making up the ankle joint (the tibia, fibula and talus). As the articular cartilage wears away, the joint space decreases progressing to bone on bone contact indicative of arthritis.
Symptoms of Ankle Osteoarthritis:
The main symptom usually associated with osteoarthritis in the ankle joint is pain. In the early stages of disease, pain is present with movement or activity (walking, stairs, prolonged standing). As osteoarthritis progresses, the pain can be present even at rest. Other common symptoms include; joint stiffness, loss of ankle motion, ankle joint swelling, and difficulty walking (or walking with a limp).
Treatment of Ankle Osteoarthritis:
Non-surgical treatment options are frequently tried initially. Once those have been exhausted, surgical intervention is usually necessary. There are three main types of surgical options:
Talk to your surgeon to see if Total Ankle Replacement surgery is right for you.