Joints hold various parts of our skeletal structure together. They also support movements such as walking, running, sitting, and standing. However, these joints may fail due to old age, injury, or illnesses. Joint replacement removes the existing natural joint and replaces it with prosthetics. After the surgery, the body heals, and you can resume your everyday life. Most prosthetics are made of plastics, metal, and ceramics.
Total joint replacement (an arthroplasty) is an excellent solution for patients struggling with pain and limited mobility. If you are dealing with stiffness, pain, and restricted movement in the joints after trying other non-surgical treatments, consult an orthopedic surgeon at NEPA Podiatry.
Total ankle replacement surgery or ankle arthroplasty is a procedure that replaces the natural ankle with an artificial one. This surgery is an excellent solution for people with unrepairable damage to the ankle joint. The ankle is the meeting point for your tibia and foot. Certain conditions can slowly deteriorate this joint, causing pain, inflammation, and difficulty walking.
During the surgery, your surgeon removes the damaged parts of your tibia and talus (the bone in your foot), then places a prosthetic pad to replace your ankle. The surgeon then uses metal parts to connect the bones and the ankle. Once you heal from ankle surgery, you should be able to use your foot normally.
There are several reasons why you may need ankle replacement surgery.
- Arthritis: If the cartilage in your ankle joint wears out, the bones rub against each other, causing osteoarthritis. This condition causes swelling, pain, and stiffness in the ankle joint. The pain and discomfort can become debilitating, hence the need for ankle replacement.
- Chronic ankle pain: Injury to the ankle can cause chronic pain hence the need to ankle replacement.
- Ankle instability: Multiple strains due to sports and childhood injuries create instability in the ankle. Unfortunately, the instability creates more opportunities for sprains to occur. Over time the ligaments become torn and don't heal properly, necessitating ankle replacement.
- Fractures: Severe fractures in the ankle can affect proper function.
Ankle replacement is great for people who can no longer manage their ankle pain through:
- Ankle braces
- Physical therapy
Are there any risks to ankle surgery? Most surgeries proceed successfully. However, the risks include:
- Blood clots
- Bone fracture
- Failure of the bones to heal with the ankle replacement
Ankle replacement surgery takes approximately two hours and a half hours. After the procedure, you may not feel your leg for up to 24 hours. However, the numbness fades off, and your doctor administers pain control medication to make your 2-3 days hospital stay comfortable.
After surgery, you'll wear a splint to boot and use assistance to move around. The boot relieves pressure on the foot to promote healing. Two weeks after surgery, you'll have an appointment for stitch removal. Your doctor will recommend physical therapy to grow your foot strength.
Six weeks post-op, your doctor will re-examine the foot and inform you if it's safe to walk without support. You can remove your boot around three months after the surgery. Full recovery roughly takes a year.
If you suffer from severe osteoarthritis in your feet, you may seek toe joint replacement to relieve pain and restore motion. Metatarsophalangeal (MTP) arthroplasty, popularly known as toe joint replacement, focuses on reviving function in the great toe joint (MTP joint). This joint connects your toe and the foot.
As arthritis progresses, it affects the cartilage between bones. The condition causes the growth of bone spurs on the great toe joint resulting causing painful friction and stiffness. Toe joint replacement surgery replaces the damaged bones and inserts an artificial pad to relieve friction and pain.
Surgical procedures at NEPA Podiatry can vary depending on your condition. For instance, you could undergo a cheilectomy. This is an early-stage procedure where your surgeon removes the excess bone. A cheilectomy preserves the cartilage, allowing better movement in the big toe. However, you could also have a fusion if a majority of the cartilage is gone.
The last option is the insertion of a small device between the bone to help with motion. The implant delivers excellent results, and patients can regain athletic movement in their toes. The surgeon makes a small incision and performs toe joint replacement in less than an hour sometimes.
During the first two weeks of recovery, you have to wear a weight-bearing boot and limit movement. However, most patients keep the boot for a month. The surgeon then performs an examination, roughly six weeks post-op, and removes stitches when the wound heals properly. Afterward, you can start exercising and wearing shoes you're comfortable in.
The talus is a bone in your ankle joint that connects bones in the leg and the foot. Thanks to technological improvements, you can get a total talus replacement. The procedure removes your talus bone and replaces it with a customized 3D printed talus
3D custom talus replacement is an excellent treatment option for people with avascular necrosis (AVN) or hindfoot arthritis. People with talar AVN experience progressive bone cell death due to poor blood supply to the area. This procedure is a relief for many patients that would otherwise lose motion in the ankle or the foot altogether.
Traditional surgical treatment fused the ankle bone and the foot bone, limiting vertical and lateral movement in the hindfoot. Even if the surgery was successful, there was the risk of poor fusion due to limited blood flow.
NEPA Podiatry is proud to provide this revolutionary treatment for people with talar AVN. We perform tests and x-rays to get a print of your natural talus before using the images to reproduce an artificial talus. The surgeon then performs surgery on the ankle to remove the old bone and replace it with the new one.
How Can We Help?
At NEPA Podiatry, our trained and experienced staff use the best equipment in the market to keep the surgery as minimally invasive and as accurate as possible. We perform joint replacement surgery to help you relieve pain and regain mobility.
Contact us for a consultation to discuss surgery as a treatment option for your ailing joints.
This page is for information/educational purposes and does not constitute replacement for recommended diagnosis or treatments.