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Ankle Replacement Surgery

Posted on March 8, 2023

Ankle replacement is a very unique procedure and is not commonly performed. Panorama Orthopedics is a center of excellence for ankle replacement.  Foot and ankle doctors here perform more total ankle replacements than anywhere else in the Rocky Mountain Region. In fact, our doctors perform, four-times more ankle replacements than anywhere else in Colorado.

Ankle arthritis does not need to be a lifelong sacrifice of avoiding the things that you love doing! Some patients with ankle arthritis may be candidates for ankle replacement surgery, where the arthritic ankle joint is removed and replaced with a new joint.

Ankle arthritis is rare and it is usually the result of an injury or the result of cumulative trauma that results in arthritis in the ankle.  Candidates for ankle replacement are usually treated conservatively to start – utilizing anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, occasionally bracing.

When these conservative options fail to provide adequate pain relief, then the surgeon may look at arthroscopic surgery to clean out the arthritic joint or ultimately ankle fusion or ankle replacement as options to relieve pain.

Both ankle fusion and ankle replacement are good pain-relieving operations. A fusion can give permanent relief, but can result in stiffness or arthritis in the surrounding joints of the foot, because the other joints compensate for the fused joint.  This can eventually lead to arthritis in the other joints. Ankle replacements have come a long way in the past fifteen years.  Today, replacements allow for better range of motion and a more normal gait than a traditional ankle fusion. With a replacement there is less chance for arthritis to set in because it does not place undue stress on the other joints.

Unlike an ankle fusion, ankle replacements address the pain caused by severe arthritis, while also giving patients a fully functional ankle joint. In fact, the biggest surprise for patients is probably the speed at which they can move the ankle without having pain.

Although there are many advantages to total ankle replacements, not all orthopedic surgeons have received the training necessary to perform this complex procedure.  That experience, along with our commitment to quality and evidence-based practices, makes us the best choice for foot and ankle care.

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