Ankle joint replacement surgery, also known as total ankle arthroplasty, is performed to relieve the pain and immobility caused by severe ankle arthritis.

Arthritic changes in the ankle may be caused by normal wear and tear due to aging or a previous injury, such as a broken ankle, dislocation or ankle sprain. This arthritis may eventually lead to loss of cartilage, pain, and possibly an ankle deformity.

The symptoms of ankle arthritis include pain and reduced mobility in the ankle joint. The pain can make walking difficult. Certain movements may cause a grinding or catching sensation as the arthritic bone surfaces move against one another. The ankle joint may swell and bone spurs may form around the edges of the joint, causing pain and swelling.

Conservative treatment of ankle arthritis involves oral medications and joint injections. However, if non-surgical treatment has not helped, your foot and ankle specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group may recommend ankle joint replacement surgery.

During surgery, diseased cartilage and the ends of the damaged bones are removed and a replacement joint (implant) made of plastic and metal is fitted onto the bones.

Ankle joint replacement surgery does not restore normal motion, but may allow enough motion to protect the other joints in the foot from becoming arthritic.