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Ankle replacement surgery

Total ankle arthroplasty or total ankle replacement

A total ankle replacement involves replacing bones or joints damaged by disease or injury with artificial ones

About ankle replacement surgery

Ankle replacement surgery is a treatment for ankle arthritis. Ankle arthritis is a common problem for many people after they reach middle age, but it may also occur in younger people. It can also develop following an injury to the foot or ankle. Your consultant may recommend ankle replacement surgery if you have advanced arthritis or if your painful symptoms have not responded to other treatments.

Need to know

  • What happens in ankle replacement surgery? icon plus

    An ankle replacement can be carried out under a general anaesthetic (where you will be asleep) or a regional anaesthetic such as an epidural. Our world-leading surgeons use the latest cutting-edge techniques.

    Total ankle replacement is an operation to replace a worn-out ankle joint by resurfacing the ends of your tibia and talus with metal components with a plastic insert in between them to allow a gliding motion. The metal components are fixed into bones using pegs with a special coating. This encourages the patient’s bone to grow into them.
     
  • Prepare for ankle replacement icon plus

    Like all procedures, there can be risks and side effects, but your consultant will explain these to you in your consultation and answer any questions you may have. If you're having a general anaesthestic, your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating or drinking beforehand. You will need to arrange for someone to help you get home from the hospital after your procedure.
  • After ankle replacement surgery icon plus

    Total ankle replacement provides excellent-pain relief and good function but, like all joint replacements, is prone to wear and failure with time. 

    In most cases the range of motion after a replacement is better than before, but in some patients this is not the case, largely due to stiffness and scarring of the soft tissues. It is important you discuss the likely range of movement you should expect with your surgeon before having surgery. This will help you to have realistic expectations.

    If you have previously undertaken long walks/hiking, cycling and other sports such as golf, tennis or skiing - you should be able to return to these. Please bear in mind it may take up to 12 months before it is comfortable to do so.

    If you walked with a limp prior to surgery, because of pain, afterwards walking is likely to improve. If you have other problems in the foot causing a limp, this may persist.

  • Risks of ankle replacement surgery icon plus

    The main risks of ankle replacements are due to the use of a new technology with uncertain long-term results. If further surgery is required a revision can either be to another ankle replacement or conversion to an ankle arthrodesis (fusion). 

    Other general complications following any ankle surgery include swelling, blood clots, infection, and nerve injury.  You will be provided with patient information guides, including potential risks, prior to any surgery.

    Patients with a history of infection, diabetes, severe deformity and poor bone quality may be considered unsuitable for ankle replacement surgery. It is important you are assessed by a specialist to determine the most suitable treatment.

A centre of excellence for ankle replacement

Our Foot and Ankle Unit at The Wellington Hospital performed more than 10 times the UK average for ankle replacements in 2018.

 

Our ankle replacement specialists are leaders in their field with an international reputation, driving forward advances in ankle arthritis and ankle replacement surgery. They have written many published articles and lecture nationally and internationally.

 

We use the latest, state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, and can offer a patient-specific instrumented technique called PROPHECY TM that enables the joint replacement to be personalised to your anatomy.

 

Our specialists are supported by a multidisciplinary team that includes senior physiotherapists, clinical nurse specialists and occupational therapists who take care of you from your initial consultation, through a rigorous pre-assessment, and to a carefully structured rehabilitation programme.

 

More about ankle replacement surgery with London Ankle

Alternative ankle replacement treatments

Some patients with ankle arthritis do not need surgery. Activity modification, special ankle supports and braces including pain relief and physiotherapy can help patients avoid the need for surgery. There are also other treatments such as ankle fusion and PRP injections. We recommend an appointment with a consultant to find the best option for you.

Peace of mind

We offer a specialist second opinion service, both face to face and remotely for patients from all over the world, covering everything from complex circumstances; deciding on treatment options; and second opinions. 

Our ankle replacement specialists

andrew goldberg

Andrew Goldberg

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Martin Klinke

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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