Ankle surgery is most common as a result of ankle arthritis and ankle fractures. In general, this type of surgery may be recommended when the functionality and structural integrity of the ankle are compromised, or when pain or discomfort limits a person’s quality of life. The goal of ankle surgery is to improve alignment and range of motion of the ankle, reduce pain, and also minimize further damage or deterioration.
There are various forms of ankle surgery depending on the condition the surgery is designed to treat.
For ankle arthritis, a patient may need one of three surgical options to repair or reduce damage. An ankle fusion involves the removal of a damaged ankle joint while fusing the talus bone of the ankle to your tibia. A "triple fusion" involves fusing three joints together: the talonavicular, subtalar, and calcaneocuboid. An ankle replacement may be necessary if the ends of the talus and tibia bones are worn out. The ends are replaced with an artificial substance that allows for improved mobility.
Other forms of ankle surgery may include ankle fracture surgery, which involves stabilizing an unstable ankle fracture to enhance movement, and lateral ankle ligament reconstruction, which corrects the feeling of one’s ankle giving way beneath you.
The type of surgery, if any, that is recommended for your case will be based on your medical history, the nature of your injury/condition, and how you have responded to any conservative treatments.
There is no set recovery time for ankle surgery. Depending on a variety of factors, your recovery time may span a period of many weeks to many months, and sometimes even a full year. Follow the specific instructions that your podiatrist provides, and be sure to contact your doctor if any complications arise after ankle surgery.
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