Ankle replacement


The ankle replacement is a surgical intervention, replacing the joint (damaged cartilage) with a prosthesis. This intervention eventually helps you to gain mobility and have less painful ankles.

The ankle prosthesis today is applied in case of traumatic osteoarthritis, following an accident, or by inflammatory rheumatism. Replacing the ankle with a prosthesis (ankle arthroplasty) has grown dramatically over the past 20 years. Consequently, research on the ankle joint has enhanced the quality and longevity of implants and prosthetic materials to increase their durability. With the appearance of recent models and improvements in ancillary systems, prosthetic ankle replacement has become a reliable and reproducible procedure.


The procedure

The placement of the prosthesis requires an anterior scar on the ankle to access the joint. The prosthesis is directly impacted in the bone, there is no cement, and it is immediately stable. An ankle prosthesis covers the bone ends with two metal pieces between which a third polyethylene piece is inserted. This helps reduce joint pressure. The components are covered with a bioactive coating, which will allow the bone to adhere to the prosthesis.

Hospitalization normally lasts an average of 7 days (between 4 and 10 days). Rehabilitation is most often immediate, more or less protected by a bivalve plaster.


Postoperative care

Immediately and postoperatively, a drainage system is left in place for 24 hours to prevent the formation of a hematoma. A removable boot that can be found easily in the pharmacies, is to be worn day and night for about 15 days to put the ankle at rest and promote healing of the skin. It allows the preparation of dressings.

Then the boot is removed and walking resumed without a crutch. Rehabilitation sessions are then prescribed to help recovery, they can be performed in a physiotherapy practice in town. Sports in discharge can in general be resumed from the 3rd postoperative month. The total recovery is expected from 3 to 6 months.


Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat various ankle disorders. Such as: ankle fractures, ankle instability, joint fibrosis and any ankle problems

You should expect some pain and swelling after the operation. It may be necessary to keep the foot high. You may also need oral painkillers for a few days. You may be able to walk on your feet immediately after the operation, and this may require several months of rest. These depend on the type of surgery performed and the recommendations of your surgeon. If necessary, the stitches are removed one or two weeks after the operation.

Possible complications of ankle arthroscopy include damage to the nerves and blood vessels around the ankle. Anesthesia and drowsiness are seen in about 10% of cases. This problem usually goes away over time.

When you can lift objects without restrictions and stop taking painkillers, you can continue driving.

If you can do your job safely, you can return to work a few days after the operation. Most people have to quit their job for at least a week or two. You can return to professional exercise after ankle arthroscopy, but you should rest for at least 4 to 6 weeks before doing so.