Total Ankle Replacement

This increasingly routine procedure restores mobility and provides relief from pain caused by ankle arthritis.

Understanding Ankle Arthritis

Arthritis can occur at any joint in the body, especially joints that have been injured or damaged. Ankle injuries are common and can often result in arthritis. If non-surgical treatments have not relieved pain caused by ankle arthritis, consult with an orthopedic surgeon, as you may be a candidate for total ankle replacement.

Total Ankle Replacement

Before total ankle replacement surgery, anesthesia is administered to ensure a painless experience. The ankle joint is then removed and replaced with an artificial implant. This implant, made of metal and plastic, restores the joint’s function. Total ankle replacement is an inpatient surgery, requiring patients to remain in the hospital for two to three days while the healing process begins. Your foot will remain protected and elevated during this time. Once you can walk short distances with crutches or other assistance, you will be released.


You may begin to put partial weight on your ankle two to three weeks after surgery, with full weight-bearing beginning at four to six weeks. Physical therapy is recommended to strengthen the ankle and improve your range of motion. Full recovery takes anywhere from six months to a year, after which you can return to light recreational activity. Avoid high-impact activities and weight-bearing sports, which can put strain on the ankle implant.


Thanks to advancements in orthopedics, total ankle replacements have become more accurate and durable than ever. Your replacement will last between 10 to 15 years, after which a revision procedure may be necessary. Through this procedure, you can find relief from pain caused by ankle arthritis and reclaim a life in motion.

A man's ankle bone indicating an ankle replacement.

An Expert Weighs In

“Ankle arthritis can happen as you age from general wear and tear. But it’s more commonly due to an injury or fracture that has healed but resulted in wearing away of the cartilage in the ankle. This can lead to bone-on-bone arthritis, which is very painful and makes walking increasingly difficult. Total ankle replacement is an effective alternative to ankle fusion that restores the normal anatomy and flexibility of the ankle while addressing the pain and deformity that can come with ankle arthritis.”

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