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What Makes A Great Candidate For Total Ankle Replacement?

Total ankle replacement is a major undertaking, but for the right patient, it can significantly improve their quality of life. This begs the question, who is an ideal candidate for total ankle replacement surgery? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the profile of the ideal candidate for total ankle arthroplasty.

The Ideal Total Ankle Replacement Candidate

You don’t need to check every single one of these boxes in order to be able to pursue total ankle replacement surgery, but if you find yourself saying yes to a number of the factors listed below, you may want to have a conversation with a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. McDonald to see if they agree that you’d be a good candidate.

An ideal candidate for total ankle replacement surgery will:

  • Not Find Relief Through Conservative Care – Total ankle replacement isn’t the first line of treatment, and oftentimes your doctor will recommend a combination of conservative techniques to help combat your ankle discomfort. These techniques prove beneficial for many, but if you’re not seeing any progress through these treatments, or your symptoms are getting worse, you may be right for total ankle replacement.
  • Symptoms Caused By Severe Ankle Arthritis – If your ankle pain is caused by a genetic deformity or an acute injury, there may be other treatments available. However, if you are dealing with an advanced stage of ankle arthritis with little or no joint misalignment, you may be an ideal candidate for total ankle replacement.
  • Daily Activities Have Become Burdensome – If ankle pain is significantly affecting your quality of life and daily activities have become a chore, you may want to consider total ankle replacement. As we mentioned above, replacing an arthritic ankle joint with an artificial joint can help you do normal actions without pain, significantly increasing your quality of life.
  • You Want To Be Active – Selfishly, doctors want patients who are interested in being more active following their ankle replacement procedure. Patients who want to be active tend to take their physical therapy and rehabilitation plan more seriously, oftentimes yielding better recovery results. We love to see a motivated individual who is keen on getting back to the physical activities they love after their total ankle replacement procedure.
  • You’re Otherwise Physically Healthy – The ideal patient will have a healthy BMI and be absent from other issues that could complicate the surgical process, like high blood pressure or diabetes. If your health suggests that the risks of a total ankle replacement procedure may outweigh the benefits, you may not be a great candidate.

If after reading this list you realize that you may be an ideal candidate for total ankle replacement, consider reaching out to Dr. McDonald and his team for more information. As we mentioned above, total ankle replacement will not be the first treatment option we pursue, but we’re confident that it can provide immense relief if conservative methods fail and you meet some or all of the above criteria.

For more information, or for help with a different foot or ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald’s office today at (860) 244-8889.

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