Ankle replacement is surgery to replace the damaged bone and cartilage in the ankle joint. Artificial joint parts (prosthetics) are used to replace your own bones. There are different types of ankle replacement surgeries.

Ankle replacement surgery is most often done while you are under general anesthesia. This means you will be asleep and would not feel the pain.

You may have spinal anesthesia. You can be awake but will not feel anything below your waist. If you have spinal anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to help you relax during the operation.

Your surgeon will make a surgical cut in the front of your ankle to expose the ankle joint. Your surgeon will then gently push the tendons, nerves, and blood vessels to the side.

After this:

  • Your surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage.

Your surgeon will replace the damaged part of:

  • The lower end of your shin bone (tibia)
  • The top of your foot bone (talus) that the leg bones rest on
  • The metal parts of the new artificial joint are then attached to the cut bony surfaces. A special glue/bone cement may be used to hold them in place.
  • A piece of plastic is then inserted between the two metal parts.

The surgeon will put the tendons back into place and close the wound with sutures (stitches). You may need to wear a splint, cast, or brace for a while to keep the ankle from moving.