If you experience frequent ankle pain due to injury or arthritis, non-surgical treatment methods could be effective in treating mild cases. However, surgery may be necessary when conservative treatments are not successful in relieving your pain.
Ankle surgery can be used to remove arthritis symptoms, tighten ligaments or repair tendons, as well as remove bone fragments and scar tissue. The type and severity of the fracture determine whether additional measures, such as metal plates, screws, and pins, are needed to hold the bone in place while it heals.
At The Foot Health Center, our talented surgeons, Dr. Louis Aquino and Dr. David Kinscherff, have advanced experience delivering highly-quality podiatric services in Maryville. Call our friendly staff today and schedule your appointment.
What Are The Most Common Types Of Ankle Injuries?
Your ankle is a very sensitive joint and can easily be injured. The most common type of ankle injuries are sprains and fractures. They only require surgery if they are severe:
- Sprains – Approximately 25,000 people in America experience a sprained ankle daily. When your foot twists beyond its limits, the ligaments expand too far, and tissues may tear. With rest, you might heal slight tears. If the ligament is completely torn, it might require surgery for reattachment.
- Fractures – Mild cases involve the fracture of only one bone of the ankle, which may not cause a significant amount of pain, and one can probably even walk on it. However, if you fracture more than one bone, it will be more painful, especially when trying to stand or walk because putting weight on it, makes things worse.
Surgical Repair For Sprains And Fractures
Before proceeding with any surgery, the doctor will order x-rays to determine the exact area affected by a fracture. If we find your ankle bones are misplaced with low chances to heal on their own, surgery will be necessary.
Ankle Surgery To Treat Arthritis
For severe arthritis cases, ankle fusion or replacement surgeries may be needed. We will focus more on ankle fusion since it is the more commonly used surgery.
How Is Ankle Fusion Surgery Performed?
This surgery is to fuse the ankle joint together so it can no longer bend. Technically, there is more than one method to perform this procedure. Depending on the amount of deformity of the joint and the extent of arthritis, the surgeon might use ankle arthroscopy to remove the cartilage or make a larger incision and look directly at the joint.
- Step 1: The surgeon removes any remaining damaged cartilage. Then he levels the bone surface on the top and bottom of the ankle joint.
- Step 2: The bones are then aligned in the proper position for the fusion.
- Step 3: Metal implants are inserted to hold the bones in this position.
Can I Walk Immediately After An Ankle Fusion?
You will usually need a one-night stay in the hospital to make sure your pain is managed, and you feel comfortable. Your affected foot will be put in a cast, and you will need to use a walker or crutches to keep the weight off your ankle.
For most people, recovery time takes between eight and twelve weeks. After this you will need to keep your ankle protected by walking in a boot or cast. Ankle fusion healing may take between four and six months.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Ankle Fusion?
Even though it can be performed on patients of all ages, it is often recommended for people with more active lifestyles, who may wear out a replacement ankle. Compared to ankle replacement, ankle fusion requires fewer restrictions in activity during recovery, and is more durable.
Ankle Replacement Surgery
In this procedure, the surgeon fits a replacement joint made of plastic-and-metal in the place of the damaged bones. Even though, the artificial joint helps the ankle retain more-natural movement, high-impact activities such as jumping or running can damage an artificial ankle joint.
Good candidates for ankle replacement are healthy people over the age of 60 who have less-active lifestyles.
Ankle Surgery In Maryville
If you suffer from ankle pain, and have been diagnosed with arthritis, or injured your ankle, we are happy to help you. At the Foot Health Center, our surgeons provide effective surgical and non-surgical treatments. We proudly serve our community in Maryville, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Granite City and all surrounding neighborhoods. Give us a call today and schedule your consultation.