The ankle, the joint bringing the foot and leg together, is an important part of the body. The following article will discuss common reasons for ankle surgeries and what to expect if you are preparing for ankle surgery.
Achilles Tendon Repair Surgery
The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the heel and is crucial for walking and running. Sudden or repeated motion can weaken the tendon causing it to tear. This injury is often sudden, painful, and paralyzing.
Surgery to repair the Achilles tendon is typically a quick surgery with a fairly easy recovery.
Physical therapy is recommended to strengthen the muscles and tendons of the ankle before you can return to pre-injury activity. With appropriate post-op care and a gradual increase in activity, the majority of patients are able to make a full recovery with little risk for repeated Achilles tendon tears.
Arthritis Relief Ankle Surgeries
Arthritis in the ankle is painful and debilitating. If less invasive treatments such as pain medications are not helping, your doctor may recommend ankle surgery. There are several options depending on your age and desired activity level.
In an ankle fusion surgery, the doctor shaves down the edges of two bones and then uses metal rods to connect them. As the bones heal they will fuse together and operate as one bone. This procedure is usually recommended for younger, more active patients. It is a long-term solution, however, there is a risk of arthritis developing between nearby bones.
For an ankle replacement, your physician will cut off the damaged bone and replace it with a metal and plastic artificial joint. The bones will not fuse together, but instead, continue to move together as they did before arthritis began. This surgery is designed for more severe cases of arthritis, typically seen in older adults. There is no known risk of arthritis in nearby bones, however, the artificial joint cannot withstand high-impact activities.
Fracture Repair Surgery
There are 3 bones that meet to form the ankle: the tibia and fibula of the leg and the talus bone at the back of the foot. Any of these bones can break and require fracture repair surgery. Because we spend a lot of time on our feet, ankle fractures and subsequent surgery can be inconvenient. Depending on the extent of the break, your doctor may need to put in pins to stabilize the bones and allow them to heal properly. You may need to wear a walking boot or crutches to protect your ankle from further injury while the bones are healing.
Ankle surgeries are common and typically fully effective. Follow your doctor’s instructions for activity restrictions and needed physical therapy. If you have questions before or after surgery, reach out to our experts at Best Foot Doctor NY. We look forward to helping you make a complete recovery!