Severe ankle joint damage can cause pain and stiffness with every step you take. At Bay Area Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic, Jack Guan, DPM, is the only podiatric surgeon in the San Jose, California, area who specializes in advanced total ankle replacement surgery to restore your joint to as good as new. To learn how a total ankle replacement can eliminate your ankle pain and stiffness, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to book a consultation.
Total ankle replacement, or total ankle arthroplasty, is a surgery that removes seriously damaged parts of your ankle joint to replace them with prosthetic parts.
If you have chronic ankle pain, weakness, stiffness, or instability that doesn't improve with conservative treatments, a total ankle replacement could be the best option for you.
The most common reason for total ankle replacement is arthritis, a group of progressive chronic diseases that damage and destroy your joints. The two main forms of arthritis that can lead to damage requiring an ankle replacement are:
Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage that shields your bones to wear down, causing your ankle bones to connect painfully. Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis that causes severe damage at the site of a previous ankle injury.
With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium, the connective tissue lining your joints, to cause joint damage.
While most people who need total ankle replacement have some type of arthritis, there may be other reasons for this surgery, including severe ankle trauma, non-healing ankle fractures, and severe bone infections.
Usually, Dr. Guan recommends ankle replacement surgery only if you've already tried conservative care like bracing, physical therapy, injections, and other nonsurgical options, or if ankle arthroscopy isn’t a good option for you.
Dr. Guan creates an incision on either the top or side of your ankle. He then uses very advanced techniques to remove the damaged joint surfaces and prepare your tibia (inner weight-bearing leg bone) and talus (the lower part of your ankle joint) to hold the new implants.
Between the implants, he places a plastic piece that helps the two main parts of the implant to glide smoothly as you move. Dr. Guan uses the most advanced ankle hardware replacement systems to ensure that you get a natural-feeling result.
After completing your ankle replacement surgery, Dr. Guan closes your incision before splinting and bandaging your ankle. You'll wear a surgical boot or cast after the procedure.
You can't bear weight on your ankle for about six weeks, so you'll typically use crutches during this time. After that time, Dr. Guan guides you through a customized recovery plan as you transition back to weight bearing and finally normal walking.
Ankle replacement surgery can stop your pain and help you function again. Learn more about how it can help you by calling Bay Area Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic or clicking on the online scheduling link.