Ankle Replacement Surgery Procedures, Post-operative Measures & Projections

Ankle Replacement Surgery comes into picture when there is a need to replace the injured bone or the cartilage in the ankle joint. Artificial joint parts which are often called prosthetics are utilized to substitute your own bones. There are diverse forms of ankle replacement surgeries.

Major Symptoms and Reasons for Ankle Replacement Surgery

The symptoms are agony and loss of movement in the ankle. Major reasons of damage are:

  1. Arthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis in the past
  2. Fracture or Infection in Bone
  3. Osteoarthritis

Ankle Replacement Surgery Procedures

The patient is kept under anesthesia during the ankle replacement surgery. In some of the cases the patient is even given spinal anesthesia wherein he is awake, however have no feeling below his waist.

A surgical cut is made in the front of the patient’s ankle to operate the ankle joint. The surgeon then pushes the nerves and the blood vessels sideways and he then removes the injured bone and the damaged cartilage. The surgeon will replace the injured part of lower end of the shin bone, talus (top of foot bone) on which the leg bones respite on. Metal fragments of artificial joints are then fixed to cut bony surfaces. A typical glue is utilized to grip them.A plastic is then implanted amid the metal parts and screws are used to make the ankle steady. The doctor then puts back the tendons and gives stitches to the wound. The patient should wear a brace for keeping the ankle sturdy.The ankle is bandaged and positioned in a splint.

General Surgery Risks and Ankle Replacement Threats

A surgery and Anesthesia risk includes allergic reactions, breathing complications and even leads to bleeding infection and blood clot.

The risk after ankle surgery includes weakness, toughness or unsteadiness in the bones. Over sometime, it also causes untying or dislocation of the fitted artificial joint. Skin damages are seen after surgery. The operation can result into nerve and blood vessel damages. The surgery can even lead to bone breaking during or after that. Allergic reactions are commonly seen.

Clarity on health issues of the patient

The surgeons must be informed about the health issues of the patient in the past. He should know clearly what types of drugs or supplements the patient is consuming or used to take in the past.

Through two weeks before the surgery patients are informed to stop taking drugs that can impact the blood clotting and can cause health issues. For diseases like diabetes or heart problems, the patient should consult the respective health care provider for instructions to be followed while the surgery. The patient should avoid smoking, tobacco consumption and alcohol before surgery. These activities can severely affect wound and bone healing. The surgeon should know about any flu, cold, fever or if any other sickness the patient may have to take safety measures.

On the particular day of the surgery, the patient is having strict instructions from the medical staff for not drinking or eating anything for six to twelve hours before the surgical procedures are being started. Required drugs must be taken with some sip of water.

Scenarios after Surgery

After the surgery, the patient needs to stay back in the hospital for a night or more as per the surgery outcome. The patient is given medication which controls the pain for twelve to twenty-four hours after the surgery.

The patient’s ankle is casted after the surgery. A tube that drains the blood from the operated area is placed in the ankle for a minimum of two days. Medical staff takes necessary precautions to prevent swellings.A physical therapist will show exercises that will assist the patient for easy movement. The operated ankle should be fully taken care from stress and putting any type of weight on it, which is strictly avoided for 2 to 3 months after the surgery.

Needed Post-operative measures and procedures to control pain

  • Severe pain is managed by using a Patient Controlled Analgesia machine, required pills or injections.
  • The PCA machine allows the patient to regulate the dose of pain medicines on their own.
  • Uplifting the ankle on a support above the heart level and using ice packs assist in reducing acute pain swelling and distress.
  • Joints are removed after 15 days as per the pain status.
  • The incisions are needed to be kept with full hygiene and as dry as possible.
  • The patient should take a shower once all the surgical dressings are properly removed and as per the instructions from the doctor.
  • The patient is given precise instructions related to activities for managing pain and required rehabilitation.
  • Healthy food and avoiding intake of alcohol, tobacco and smoking will provide assistance in swift healing.

Post-operative Surgery Projections

A fruitful ankle replacement surgery will likely reduce or fully get rid of the pain and sufferings through the injury. It will allow the movement of patient’s ankle more comfortably. In most of the cases, total ankle replacements last 8 to 10 years or even more. Overall health recovery will depend on the regular activity levels, and the amount of injury to your ankle joint was before the ankle surgery.

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