Your ankle supports a force about five times your body weight when you walk. Normally, the cartilage in the ankle joint cushions the bones, so walking is painless, something we often take for granted. But as you age, your ankles may develop osteoarthritis from wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis resulting from injuries, such as fractures or frequent sprains. When the cartilage in the ankle is destroyed or seriously damaged due to osteoarthritis or a fracture, the pain can be debilitating.
Like knee and hip replacement surgery, ankle replacement is a viable option to help people get back on their feet after conservative treatment methods have been exhausted. Artificial ankle implants are more durable today and last longer with few complications.
During an ankle replacement surgery, both sides of the ankle are removed and replaced with a specially designed prosthesis made of plastic, titanium, and cobalt chromium alloy.
Ankle replacement surgery is a good option if you don't participate in high impact activities like skiing, basketball, and football. Ankle replacement leaves you with up-and-down movement in the foot and a near-normal gait.