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Ankle Replacement

Ankle Replacement - What it is

Osteoarthritis of the ankle 

These cartilages begin to breakdown or damaged, due to normal wear and tear due to ageing or from an injury such as ankle fracture or dislocation. Eventually the underlying bones begin to rub together, causing excruciating pain and difficulty when walking. This condition is known as osteoarthritis. While it is not common, this condition can affect the ankle joint.

In severe osteoarthritis, it limits a person’s functional abilities and affects their lifestyle. Osteoarthritis can affect the ankle.

Ankle Replacement - Symptoms

Symptoms of foot and ankle osteoarthritis often include:
Tenderness or pain
Reduced ability to move, walk, or bear weight
Stiffness in the joint
Swelling in the joint

Ankle Replacement - How to prevent?

​You can lower your risk of getting arthritis by staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and preventing injuries to your joints.

Ankle Replacement - Causes and Risk Factors

Osteoarthritis, or "wear-and-tear" arthritis, is the most common type of arthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease or age-related arthritis, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop as people age. Inflammation and injury to the joint cause a breaking down of cartilage tissues, resulting in pain, swelling, and deformity. The changes in osteoarthritis usually occur slowly over many years, though there are occasional exceptions.
Osteoarthritis can affect the ankle.

Ankle Replacement - Diagnosis

The diagnosis of ankle osteoarthritis most likely will involve:
A medical history
Physical exam 
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scans

Ankle Replacement - Treatments

​Total Ankle Replacement is performed under general anaesthetic or regional block. Damaged cartilage of your affected ankle are removed and replaced with artificial parts. The artificial parts are usually made up of metal, ceramic or plastics to recreate the ankle joint.

Ankle Replacement - Preparing for surgery

Fasting Instructions

Fasting is essential prior to surgery. In the event you did not follow the instructions, the surgery will be rescheduled. No food or drinks (except plain water) after midnight or as instructed. Last drink allowed is half a cup (100ml) of plain water.


Certain medications need to be stopped in preparation for the surgery. Please inform your doctor of all medications you are on, especially blood thinners or herbal medications.

Special Instructions

Any recent infection, be it involving the throat, lung, urinary tract or skin must be highlighted to the surgeon prior to surgery. Your surgery might have to be postponed. 

Have a parent / legal guardian to give consent if you are below 21 years old.

Ankle Replacement - Post-surgery care

Special Instructions Post Surgery 

  • Avoid strenuous movements such as twisting; and high impact activities such as jumping and running, as they may damage your prosthesis. 
  • Before any dental work or invasive medical procedures, inform your dentist or doctor that you have prosthesis and that you need antibiotics to prevent infection. An implant card will be given to you upon discharge.
  • Avoid direct ice and/or cold packs application. Always wrap ice and/or cold pack with a thin towel before applying to your operated ankle. You are encouraged to apply at least three times per day to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your leg with pillow to reduce swelling.

How to Elevate Your Foot:

  • Rest your foot on at least 2 pillows 
  • Keep your foot elevated most of the time (At Least 22 hours out of 24 Hours) for the first few days after surgery.
  • After the first few days you can start putting your foot down starting with 1-2 minutes at a time and slowly increase the amount of time.
  • It might be 2 weeks or more before you can leave your foot down for more than 5 to 10 minutes a time as you just had a major foot and ankle surgery. 

Ankle Replacement - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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