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Total ankle replacement or ankle arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which your surgeon replaces the damaged ankle joint with an artificial joint. This procedure greatly improves function for individuals who cannot perform everyday activities without experiencing severe pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and previous ankle injuries are the most common causes of this ankle joint pain.
Although ankle arthritis often the result of an injury or cumulative trauma it can be a difficult condition resulting pain and stiffness in the ankle joint, and even bone spurs and or warmth and swelling in the joint. An ankle with osteoarthritis has thinning deteriorated cartilage, allowing bone to rub against bone causing pain. 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.
Candidates for ankle replacement are usually treated conservatively to start – utilizing anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, and occasionally bracing. When these conservative options fail to provide adequate pain relief your surgeon may suggest arthroscopic surgery to clean out the arthritic joint or ultimately ankle fusion or ankle replacement as options to relieve pain and regain function.Total ankle replacements have come a long way in the past 35 years. They were first introduced in the 1970’s, as technology advanced, total ankle replacements are now considered nearly equivalent to ankle fusions- depending on the individual patients functional demands allowing better range of motion and a more natural gait. In 2014 there were an estimated 16 thousand total ankle replacements performed in the United States. With new technology available, ankle replacement implants are lasting at least 10-15 years. 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 evidence-based practices, makes us the leader in total ankle replacement surgery in Colorado.
Our expert physicians make OrthoColorado a leader in Colorado for total ankle replacement.
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