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Do You Need An Ankle Replacement?

Do You Need An Ankle Replacement?
Do You Need An Ankle Replacement?

A complete ankle replacement, or ankle arthroplasty, is performed when the tissues and structures of one’s ankle joint are damaged beyond natural repair. During surgery, one’s bone surfaces and other tissues are removed and replaced with prosthetic components.

Artificial components which are used as replacements are traditionally made with medical-grade titanium and polyethylene materials. These materials provide a sound and strong replacement, which, post surgery should allow the individual to regain most of their previous level of mobility and enjoy a much more pain-free lifestyle.

Why Would You Need a Prosthetic Ankle?

There is an abundance of reasons why an orthopedic surgeon may recommend that a patient have ankle arthroplasty, these include:

Advanced Arthritis

Severe osteoarthritis affecting one’s ankle joint is a very common reason that patients have the joint replaced. Swelling and inflammation within the ankle area cause stiffness and pain as the cartilage wears away due to arthritis. So much so that one’s ankle may become completely immobilized. 

In a similar fashion, debilitating rheumatoid arthritis places one at risk of requiring an ankle replacement. Rheumatoid arthritis may erode the bone in the ankle joint and cause long deformity and disability.

Chronic Ankle Pain

Chronic pain that resides in the ankle region may be a sign that the ankle needs replacing. The pain could have been sustained through a sports injury or direct trauma caused by an accident.


Reduced or no mobility and the loss of the ankle’s range of motion are red flag signs that an ankle replacement is required (and necessary) when other rehabilitative treatments do not yield results. 

Significant Weakness in the Ankle 

Extreme weakness in the ankle is usually an early sign that the bones in the ankle are deteriorating. An ankle replacement will restore mobility and overall function in one’s leg and ankle.

Ankle Instability 

Multiple ankle sprains over one’s lifetime can create a situation that requires ankle surgery. People who consistently sprain their ankle playing sports, or taking part in other joint-intensive tasks, may find that the ankle has become less stable than before. Instability increases the likelihood of additional sprains because the ligaments are weakened from over-stretching. Ligaments can also become loose if they are torn and do not heal completely. 


Severe ankle fractures that do not heal adequately can lead to a reduction in the proper range of motion in the ankle joint. A total ankle replacement can alleviate discomfort and fix this problem and restore full ankle capability.

About Dr. Mahesh Bagwe

Dr. Bagwe is a leading orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle and foot reconstruction. If you are looking for an orthopedic surgeon near you then look no further. Dr. Bagwe is an industry leader when it comes to foot and ankle surgery doctors in St. Louis. Dr. Bagwe and his friendly and professional team is ready to welcome you and tell you everything you need to know.

Reach out and contact us today.

  • Saint Louis University
  • University of Illinois Chicago
  • Center of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
  • SSM Health
  • Mercy