What Is An Ankle Replacement Surgery?
An ankle replacement surgery, also known as tibiotalar joint replacement surgery is a surgical procedure in which the damaged joint of the ankle is removed and replaced by an artificial joint or prosthetics. The removed parts are replaced by implants made up of medicated plastics and metals.
Artificial joints help to provide a natural range of motion for the ankle. It minimises the risk of spreading arthritis to the nearby joints. However, loosening of the joints can be a concern.
An ankle replacement might not be a good option for the patient if:
- The patient is younger than 50 years.
- The patient has weak ligaments.
- The patient participates in high-impact sports activities.
- The patient is uncontrollably overweight.
- The patient has any active infections.
- The patient has any nerve damage due to diabetes.
- The patient is a heavy smoker.
What Are The Causes Of Ankle Replacement Surgery?
In most patients, the degraded condition of the ankle joint can cause pain and discomfort.
In most people, the most common cause of ankle pain is arthritis. Other than that, there can be many reasons which can degrade the condition of the ankle joint.
The causes and the risk factors that can lead to ankle replacement surgery are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Rotator cup injury
- Joint injury and fractures
- Inflammatory disorders
What Can The Patient Expect During The Surgery?
- During the procedure, the patient is given a general anesthetic, spinal block or a nerve block to numb the nerves around the ankle joint and the area around the ankle.
- An incision is made in the ankle to access the joint.
- The damaged part of the joint is removed and replaced by the artificial joint.
- Metal plates and screws are used to secure the joint.
- The incision area is then closed by stitching or using medical staples.
- The detached bones around the joint get connected in the recovery phase.
- The surgery takes about one to two hours to get completed.
What Can Be Done At Home: Pre And Post-Surgery Care And Precautions
Pre-Surgery Care And Precautions
- The patient should stop the intake of certain medications, prescribed by the doctor.
- The patient should avoid any treatments like teeth cleaning, facial treatment, etc. before the surgery because the chemicals used can further interfere with the process of the surgery.
- The patient or the family members should get all the necessary documents and things that will be required at the hospital.
- The patient should get proper rest and eat nutritious foods.
- The patient is most likely to get nervous about the surgery process, it is better to let the family members and close ones know how they are feeling.
- Before the surgery, the patient must not be involved in any heavy tasks and do any high-impact activities.
Post-Surgery Care And Precautions
- If the patient is away from home, they should ask their friends or any person to help them after the surgery.
- The patient should keep the necessary items like a phone, water bottle, prescription, medicines, tissues, etc. near them on a bedside table or chair.
- A friend or a family member must help the patient to go to the washrooms.
- The patient should get enough rest.
- The patient should wear light comfortable clothes.
- The doctor can advise the patient to wear compression pads to prevent swelling and pain.
- The patient can use pillows to support their back and legs while sleeping.
- While in rest, the patient should try moving the joint to the limited range the body allows. It will help to prevent the risks of blood clots.
- The patient can receive physical therapy after a few weeks.
(Note: it should be done under the supervision of any professional) or the person can do the exercises shown to them by any physical therapist.
- Over the counter, medicines like pain killers, muscle relaxants can be taken by the patient to avoid occasional pains.
(Note: the patient should contact a doctor before trying out any medications)
- The patient should avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol for a faster recovery.
- Proper intake of the prescribed medicines should be done.
(Note: the patient should contact a doctor before trying out any medications)
- Patients should eat nutritious food and keep themselves hydrated.
- When the patient feels better and has the confidence of doing activities, they should start with easy and light tasks.
- Heat pads can be used to feel comfortable and relieve tension.
(Note: one should get the heat pads after consulting their doctors).
- After a few weeks, the patient can do light joint exercises, lift some light weights, etc.
- Strenuous activities should be strictly avoided as they can increase the chances of infections.
- Undergoing surgery is a huge take on mental health. So, if the patient feels demotivated or depressed they should share and let their close ones know. The family members should support them in the journey. Being patient and optimistic is the key.
- If faced with any signs of infection or other unexpected occurring, the patient must immediately contact their doctor.
Process Of Recovery After An Ankle Replacement Surgery
- The period of recovery varies from person to person. It takes about three to six months to get completely healed.
- After three to six weeks, most patients resume their daily activities which include light tasks like lifting light weights, going out shopping, etc.
- If the patient feels confident in their joint strength, they can start driving. (Note: the patient should consult the doctor before starting any activity)
- Regular follow up with the doctor should be done properly by the patient and a clear idea about the medicines should be taken.
- The patient must ensure that their joint is healing properly.
- The doctor can test the patient for any reactions and side effects due to the implant used.
- A successful ankle replacement surgery can last for 15 years to 20 years and sometimes even more.
- Most patients heal well without facing any major complications. But if any signs of :
- Blood clot
- Excessive pain
- High fever and chills
- Loosening and
- Nerve damage is seen, the patient should immediately consult their doctor or surgeon.
The above-mentioned remedies and medicines; are over the counter medicines (most of them) and are effective in most cases. It is advisable to contact the doctor before taking any medications.
Why Should Someone Choose Resolve360?
Resolve360 is an online rehabilitation platform for post-surgery clinical assessments, that provides solutions to post-surgery care and rehabilitation facilities for the patients. There are several programs on how to take care after undergoing surgery, what precautions and care one should take. There is free access to knowledge and consultation. For further details, don’t forget to contact us! We will take extreme pride in serving you! HAPPY RECOVERY!
For further detailed knowledge kindly go through the following points.
- Resolve360 is a promising online platform, where one can receive treatment at the comfort of their own home.
- We are available on both the google play store and the app store.
- There’s Tiana, our chat buddy to guide you 24/7 through all your doubts, progress and feedback.
- Our team specializes in providing the following services:
- Speech therapy
- Clinical psychological counselling
- Antenatal and postnatal care
- Pregnancy wellness
- Covid rehabilitation facilities
- The patients don’t need to worry about traveling long distances to receive their post-surgery treatment or rehab.
- The patients can save up the time and can utilize that time to take care of themselves.
- For a smooth, at-home experience the patients are offered the following facilities:
- Live sessions,
- video conferencing and
- video prescriptions
- Building trust is really important. So, we always try our best to provide the maximum support to the patients to make them feel comfortable.
- We always schedule the timings of the meetings based on the patient’s preference. Rescheduling can also be done if there are any problems.
- When a patient comes to our doctor it becomes the responsibility of our doctor to give them a healthy life.
- We guarantee that doctors will never leave their patients.
- The patients can openly talk about their problems and we assure that the information will be between the patients and the doctors only.
- Our doctors plan every step necessary for their patients, starting from planning out exercises to drafting their diet charts.
- The doctors on the platform are extremely reliable and are certified professionals with experience.
- It is a platform that provides solutions to every problem, starting with home remedies to prescribed medications.
- The patient’s trust is our confidence!