The first total ankle replacements came out decades ago with more complications than success. Over the years, things have slowly improved. Companies are now on 3rd generation implants which have been very successful. In the past year, I have started doing them at Presbyterian and they are now approved at Lovelace. Patients have been very happy with these implants and do quite well with them. The replacements are followed by 2-3 days in the hospital but most patients get to go home. Most patients are walking 4-6 weeks after surgery as opposed to 8-12 weeks with an ankle fusion.
The most important thing to recognize is that not everyone is a good candidate. I look at age, severity, deformity, activity level, weight, and of course, medical history before I perform these surgeries. So, if you’ve been suffering with ankle pain and avoiding surgery because of limited options, I would be happy to meet with you and see if you are a candidate for a total joint implant.
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By Jonathan Williamson, DPM