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Is it time for an ankle replacement?

Is it time for an ankle replacement?

If you suffer from consistent ankle pain, you already know how disruptive it can be to your daily activities. Reduced mobility can make it difficult to do relatively simple things like climb stairs or walk even short distances, much less participate in more demanding activities.

Here are just a few of the many ankle issues that can contribute to your ankle pain and may indicate that an ankle replacement is an appropriate course of treatment:

Advanced Arthritis
Severe osteoarthritis affecting the ankle joint is a common reason that patients have the joint replaced. Swelling and inflammation within the ankle area causes stiffness and pain as the cartilage wears away. Similarly, debilitating rheumatoid arthritis may erode the bone in the ankle joint and cause deformity and disability.

Chronic Ankle Pain
Chronic pain may be the result of a sports injury or trauma caused by an accident or a fall.

Weakness in the Ankle
Extreme weakness in the ankle is usually a sign that the bones in the ankle are deteriorating.

Ankle Instability
Multiple ankle sprains, especially during childhood, may cause the ankle to become less stable and produce more opportunities for spraining again due to overstretched ligaments. Ligaments can also become loose if they are torn and do not heal completely.

Severe ankle fractures that heal improperly can lead to a lack of proper range of motion in the ankle joint.

Your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatments such as bracing, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and modified activities in the beginning. But if these remedies don’t adequately address your issues – and you’re still experiencing pain and reduced mobility that interferes with your activities – you may find that ankle replacement surgery is the best next step in your treatment plan.

Although ankle replacements are not performed as commonly as hip and knee replacements, the surgery has been performed for about 25 years. Unlike fusion surgery, the ankle’s motion is preserved with total ankle replacement surgery. Surrounding joints are also protected from increased wear and from arthritic damage that’s very common after fusion surgery.

If surgery is the best option for treating your specific condition, consider scheduling a visit with Dr. Justin Daigre at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Decatur and Hartselle. Dr. Daigre is originally from Decatur and graduated in 2000 from Decatur High School. He earned a B.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed medical school at South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. During his orthopaedic training at West Virginia University, Dr. Daigre found his interest in foot and ankle surgery and subsequently spent a year in foot and ankle fellowship training in Columbus, Ohio. He has now returned to provide care for the community where he was raised.
Dr. Daigre is an active member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society and a diplomate of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He works with two orthopedic implant companies, In2Bones and Treace Medical. With In2Bones, he helps design orthopedic products that are used in the operating room. Dr. Daigre also helps teach other surgeons how to use Treace Medical’s Lapiplasty system, the revolutionary 3D bunion correction system.
If you’re interested in addressing issues with your ankles, please request an appointment with our dedicated specialist today by calling 256-350-0362.

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