What is ankle replacement surgery?

Ankle replacement surgery involves replacing bones in the ankle with artificial ones. It is designed to relieve pain and difficulty moving the ankle, often caused by suffering from arthritis.

Arthritis is a group of conditions that causes damage to one or more joints. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis where the joints suffer gradual wear and tear. With rheumatoid arthritis, the cartilage is eventually worn away, causing the bone underneath to become damaged.

If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in the ankle, moving and putting weight on your ankle may have become extremely painful and challenging. To reduce these symptoms, you may be recommended ankle replacement surgery.

Benefits to ankle replacement surgery

If your ankle replacement surgery is successful you should have less pain and find it easier to walk.

Alternatives

Non-surgical alternatives to ankle replacement surgery include:

• Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (brufen) to control the pain of arthritis

• Supplements such as cod liver oil or glucosamine. Always check with your doctor before taking these

• Wearing an elasticated support on your ankle

• Regular exercise, which can help reduce stiffness in your ankle

• Physiotherapy to help weak muscles

• Keyhole surgery, which cleans or makes small repairs to the ankle joint, and may give temporary relief

What will happen during my ankle replacement consultation?

When you meet with your consultant surgeon they’ll ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your ankle replacement, they’ll discuss with you what’ll happen before, during and after the procedure and any pain you might have. Take this time with your consultant surgeon to ensure your mind is put at rest.