The Patient’s Guide to Ankle Replacement Surgery

From sprains to fractures to infections, the ankle is one of the most easily injured parts of the entire body. While some individuals with ankle conditions can benefit from conventional treatment methods such as medications, injections, and physical therapy, people with other conditions may require foot surgery. Ankle replacement surgery is a procedure in which the ankle joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. Continue reading to learn more about ankle replacement surgery.

What is Ankle Replacement Surgery?

Ankle Replacement surgery is a procedure in which the damaged ankle joint is replaced with an implant. This implant is metal and plastic and will function as a new ankle joint allowing you to maintain normal motion within your ankle.

How do I know if Ankle Replacement Surgery is right for me?

This deal candidate for ankle replacement surgery is someone whose ankle joint is extremely damaged or degenerated. This degeneration of the bone can be a result of:

  • Severe arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Severe bone fractures
  • Infection
  • Congenital causes

Because of the implant, this surgery is most beneficial to any patient looking to maintain motion to their ankle without loss of function.

What is Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery?

Ankle Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is used to treat many different kinds of ankle pain. This procedure is performed through two small incisions made in the ankle, both of them being smaller than 1cm each, with the use of tiny camera/scope the doctor will visualize the problem and perform any necessary clean-up of the joint as needed. This procedure is meant to decrease the trauma to the soft tissue while allowing patients to return to normal activity as quickly as possible.

How do I know if Ankle Arthroscopy Surgery is right for me?

Ankle Arthroscopy is most beneficial in patients who suffer from:

  • Cartilage Damage – such as Ankle Arthritis or Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • The removal of Bone Spurs in the ankle joint – Which is also known as Athlete’s ankle or Footballers ankle
  • Removing Scar Tissue – as well as loose debris to restore motion in ankle and relieve ankle impingement
  • Treatment of ankle instability

Uses and Indications

Candidates for ankle replacement surgery generally include those whose ankle joints have suffered degeneration or have become severely damaged over time. This includes individuals affected by a congenital joint disease, infection, severe ankle fracture, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Procedural Steps

After administering anesthesia, your foot surgeon will make an incision in the front of your ankle to expose the joint before removing the damaged portions of bone. Your podiatrist will then reshape the remaining bones—including the tibia, fibula, and talus—before attaching them to a plastic and metal implant. The ankle joint implant may be held in place using a special glue, bone cement, or screws, and is often supported by a bone graft placed between the ends of the fibula and tibia. Your surgeon will then close the incision using sutures or staples and dress the area in sterile gauze.


Your ankle will be placed in a splint or cast immediately after the procedure. To ensure safe recover, it is important to follow all of your podiatrist’s after-care instructions, including staying off of your feet as much as possible, elevating your foot above your ankle to alleviate swelling, and undergoing physical therapy as needed.

The best way to determine whether or not you require ankle replacement surgery is to consult your podiatrist. Let the foot doctors with Austin Podiatry educate you on your foot surgery options.