Total Ankle Replacement Offered by Expert Surgeons in Baltimore
The surgeons at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore are experts at performing total ankle replacement, or ankle arthroplasty. Our foot and ankle surgeons are rated among the best in the Mid-Atlantic region for innovative treatment options for ankle arthritis.
What is Total Ankle Replacement?
Total ankle replacement, or ankle arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure during which the sides of the ankle joint are replaced. The results of ankle replacement are good and the outcome of ankle replacement from a functional standpoint is better than that of arthrodesis. In an ankle arthrodesis, the joint is fused or glued together, limiting the up and down movement. An ankle replacement allows a more normal "function".
The main advantage of a total ankle replacement is the return of some freedom of movement in the ankle. This movement is important for simple activities such as bending, walking, exercise and climbing. Full movement of the ankle joint is never regained even with total ankle replacement, but the movement that is present is far preferable to the lack of movement in the fused ankle.
Who should receive a Total Ankle Replacement?
A good candidate for total ankle replacement, or ankle arthroplasty, is someone who:
- Is over the age of 50
- Is not too heavy
- Is not extremely active
- Has fairly healthy bone quality of the ankle
Some activity is always ideal and it does not mean patients with an ankle replacement have to be sedentary. Patients can walk, hike, climb, ride a bicycle and, in some circumstances, even ski after an ankle replacement.
Who are not good candidates for Total Ankle Replacement?
Patients who are not good candidates for an ankle replacement have:
- Poor circulation in the leg
- Nerve conditions of the leg
- Avascular necrosis or AVN of the talus bone (the ankle bone is dead)
The activities that are not ideal involve repetitive pounding of the ankle like running or a job that includes heavy labor.
What is the goal of a Total Ankle Replacement?
One of the goals of a total ankle replacement is to improve the movement of the joint (called range of motion). Interestingly, the more movement of the ankle there is before the joint replacement surgery, the more will exist later. If a patient has no motion or very poor motion of the ankle before surgery, our foot and ankle surgeons can improve this, but not nearly as much.
Why have a Total Ankle Replacement at Mercy?
Our surgeons have extensive experience with total ankle replacement. They will take the time to sit with you and discuss your expectations, as well as explain whether or not you are a good candidate for this surgery.
Our doctors currently use the most state-of-the-art, FDA-approved ankle replacement implants available. The surgery will be performed in our private operating rooms with foot and ankle sub-specialty trained nurses and staff to give you the highest quality care possible.The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy also offers dedicated, on-site physical therapists and orthotists to provide you with comprehensive care for all of your needs following your ankle surgery.