November 1, 2017

What You Need to Know about Ankle Arthritis and Ankle Replacement Surgery

Arthritis remains one of the most common causes of joint pain and disability throughout the United States. It is estimated that approximately 350 million people around the world suffer from arthritis of one form or another.

At times, pain and limited movement can lead patients to seek joint replacement surgeries to improve their quality of life. However, these procedures come with some degree of risk and should be carefully considered with respect to this fact. Here we will discuss some important things to keep in mind if you are considering undergoing ankle replacement surgery.

Signs of Arthritis

Arthritis in the ankle joint can result in a variety of symptoms that will alert you to the existence of a problem. Pain is often the first symptom noticed by patients. This pain can come and go at times. You may notice that it is worse during times of activity or at night when you are attempting to rest. Arthritis is also usually accompanied by swelling and a loss of mobility in the ankle joint. Symptoms can get worse with time or remain the same for a number of years.

The following paragraphs will cover the basics of joint replacement operations. As with any medical decision, you should discuss these points with your physician to determine if this type of procedure is right for you.

Facts about the Recovery Process

For the first six weeks following your ankle joint replacement surgery, you will likely have difficulty moving around well. During this time, you will need to wear a splint or boot to stabilize the joint and protect it from injury. It will be ideal if you limit your movements altogether for the first couple of weeks following your surgery.

After your surgical incision heals properly, you will be able to remove your splint so you can do some simple exercises to restore proper mobility to your ankle. You may need the help of a physical therapist during this time who can demonstrate proper techniques for the exercises.

Facts Regarding Pain Management

Immediately following your ankle replacement surgery, you will come home with several days worth of pain medication to reduce your discomfort. Once you are past the initial few days following surgery, your pain will likely be able to be managed without medication. If you are particularly active at times, you may find that you need an over-the-counter pain medication periodically. However, if moderate to severe pain persists past the first week following surgery, you should mention it to your doctor so the problem can be addressed.

How Diet and Exercise Impact Your Recovery

In addition to performing exercises that will help you regain mobility and strength in your ankle joint, it will also be important that you maintain a healthy diet that promotes healing. Nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily. In addition to this, a moderate amount of healthy protein will allow your body tissues to heal faster. If you feel you need dietary advice, be sure to speak to your physician.

At Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates, we specialize in providing a variety of surgeries and medical treatments to improve conditions such as arthritis. Our dedicated and experienced team of medical professionals can provide you with many options to help treat your pain and restore mobility to your affected joints. If you are in need of orthopedic treatments, please contact Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates right away for a full consultation.

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