If arthritis of the ankle joint is making it difficult to walk, and the area is not responding well to conservative treatments like physical therapy and exercise, your foot specialist may recommend that you undergo a surgical procedure to address the issue. There are a few different options at your disposal that can correct your ankle joint issue depending on what’s going on in the joint. In today’s blog, we take a look at three types of surgical procedures to help correct problems caused by ankle arthritis.
Surgery For Ankle Arthritis
If ankle joint pain is making it difficult to walk to move, reach out to our team today. We’ll conduct a diagnosis and set you up with some conservative care options to help alleviate your pain, but if those don’t end up providing enough relief, we may recommend one of the following three surgical options.
- Ankle Arthroscopy – An ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves making a few small incisions in the area through which a lighted scope and thin instruments are inserted. The scope allows the surgeon to visualize the ankle joint on a video monitor in the operating room, and they’ll use this video feed to help them carefully remove bone debris or damaged cartilage in the area. Cleaning up these bone spurs and excess debris can allow for more fluid motion in the joint and prevent reactive inflammation. This is the most common option for patients with mild arthritis damage because it can actually lead to faster joint deterioration in patients with an advanced stage of the condition.
- Ankle Fusion – During an ankle fusion procedure, the surgeon works to prevent painful movement in the ankle joint by using plates and screws to fuse areas of the joint. This limits flexibility and movement in the ankle joint, but it also helps to prevent pain caused by excessive movement of a damaged joint. It has a high success rate in calming symptoms of arthritis, but it’s not a perfect solution because you lose mobility in the joint, which will need to be monitored so it doesn’t lead to gait problems or similar issues. However, for the right patient, it can be exactly what they need to put an end to their arthritic ankle joint pain.
- Total Ankle Replacement – A total ankle replacement procedure, also known as ankle arthroplasty, is a more complex procedure that involves reshaping and resurfacing areas in the joint and adding artificial components to help transform the joint into a system that mimics the function of a healthy joint. The procedure takes skill and precision, but our team has been trained to implant all FDA-approved total ankle replacement devices, so we can find the system that is right for you. Although it requires more of the surgeon, the method is often preferred over fusion because it preserves more movement and function in the joint. This will allow you more flexibility in the ankle and in turn makes it less likely that your gait will be impacted by the procedure.
So if you are dealing with persistent foot pain and you’ve been diagnosed with ankle joint arthritis, consider reaching out to our team today. Not only can we walk you through some conservative options, but we can also talk about surgical options if they could be in your best interest.