Ankle replacement is where we replace the ankle joint with metal and polyethylene, basically like a plastic spacer that acts as the joint space.
Ankle Replacements are not as common as hip and knee replacements which are more commonly talked about and more patients get hip and knee replacements.
Ankle arthritis is more commonly a result of trauma to the ankle in the past or because of a deformity that a patient has had since they were younger or that they have developed as they've gotten older.
Ankle replacement is an option for patients who are usually about 50 and older and have some limitations in their activity because of their ankle arthritis and have pain because of their ankle arthritis as well
Patients who have ankle replacements are often immobilized for about two weeks when they're not putting any weight on their ankle and then after that, they do start to put weight on their ankle in a boot and then the patients work with physical therapy just like they would with any other joint replacement and work on getting the ankle moving.
The most significant predictor of a range of motion after surgery is the range of motion before surgery and so patients maintain that motion as our the only option in the past for ankle arthritis was to do an ankle fusion and so the ankle replacement still allows the patient to have movement of their ankle and patients can do activities that they want to do afterward in terms of skiing, hiking, and biking.
We don't want patients to run after a total ankle replacement so that's more limiting in that sense but they are able to hike they're able to walk and they can cycle and do some of those lower-impact activities.