Ankle Replacement Surgery | MedStar Health

Providing ankle replacement surgery with top-notch foot and ankle specialists.

MedStar Health is one of the most advanced orthopedic facilities in the region, equipped to perform total ankle arthroplasty, among various other ankle procedures. Our experienced orthopedic surgeons offer you the comprehensive care you need for an effective procedure and a successful recovery. Our surgeons are fellowship-trained in foot and ankle surgery, caring for people suffering from the full range of foot and ankle disorders. Our ankle replacement surgery services are located in the Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, and Virginia areas.

What is ankle replacement surgery?

Total ankle arthroplasty is a treatment option for patients who are suffering from extreme ankle arthritis pain and lack of mobility that does not respond to conservative treatment options, and can be an alternative to ankle fusion for some patients. During the surgery, your damaged ankle joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint.

During the procedure, your surgeon will remove the ankle joint and replace it with an artificial joint, allowing the ankle to regain its range of motion. After the surgery is complete, our team works together with multidisciplinary specialists to manage your condition. We supplement this team approach with rehabilitation and pain management services to support your treatment.

Why might I need ankle replacement surgery?

The majority of ankle arthritis develops as the result of past ankle injuries. Ankle arthroplasty may be recommended if you have any of the following symptoms of severe ankle arthritis:

  • Pain in the joint
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion in the ankle
  • Inability to walk

How do I prepare for ankle replacement surgery?

Your orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon will provide detailed instructions to prepare you for surgery and what to expect during your recovery. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Know that immediately after surgery, you must be non-weight-bearing for some time. Preoperative physical therapy can help you prepare for a successful and smooth recovery from your surgery.

What does ankle replacement surgery recovery involve?

Following your surgery, you may need to stay in the hospital for one night. There, you will keep your foot elevated above your heart, and you will have a cast or splint to keep it from moving. As you heal, we will encourage you to begin to bear weight on the foot. You will also need to do physical therapy to regain strength in your foot and ankle.

With over 50 locations throughout the Washington, D.C. - Baltimore metropolitan region, you’ll find therapy and rehabilitation from a physical therapist close to where you live and work.

Who is a good candidate for an ankle replacement?

When a patient with end-stage arthritis is considering ankle replacement surgery to alleviate pain and improve mobility, we will consider many factors, including age, amount of deformity, and treatment goals. If you are not a candidate for ankle replacement surgery, your surgeon may recommend ankle fusion surgery.

How common is total ankle replacement?

In many ways, ankle replacement is an emerging technology. Unlike knee replacements, where we perform 500,000 per year, we only perform ankle 5,000 per year.

Can I walk after ankle replacement surgery?

For some time after ankle replacement surgery, you will need to avoid weight-bearing activity with the help of an assistive device, such as crutches, a walker, or a knee scooter. Physical therapy will be integral to reaching your full potential. You will need to be off of your feet for 4-6 weeks before you can start to walk in a boot.

What is the benefit of undergoing ankle replacement surgery?

The benefits of visiting MedStar Health for your total ankle replacement surgery include:

  • Ankle pain relief
  • Ability to bear weight on the ankle
  • Corrected fractures and misaligned bones
  • Ability to return to normal activities without pain
  • Improved balance and ankle strength


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