Who is a candidate for total ankle replacement?

Samantha Miner, DPM

by Samantha Miner, DPM

Ankle arthritis is rare, and few people will develop it in their lifetime. People who have a history of ankle trauma, such as an ankle fracture or sprain are more likely to develop arthritis in this joint. Those with a rheumatological condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis are also at a higher risk of developing ankle arthritis.

Ankle arthritis can progress with time. Symptoms of ankle arthritis include stiffness, clicking or cracking in the joint, pain with walking or standing, swelling about the ankle or foot, and even instability (i.e. feeling like the ankle will give out).

If you suffer from ankle arthritis and your symptoms have not improved with traditional conservative methods, you may be a candidate for a total ankle replacement. It is important to talk to your surgeon if you have a history of peripheral neuropathy (i.e. abnormal sensation in the lower extremity), peripheral vascular disease (i.e. poor circulation in the lower extremity), and history of osteomyelitis in the area (i.e. bone infection). These may disqualify you from total ankle replacement.

It is important to know that not all foot and ankle surgeons are trained in this special type of surgery. Be sure to seek the opinion of an expert on total ankle replacement when considering your options for ankle arthritis treatment.

About the author:

Dr. Samantha Miner is an expert on total ankle replacement and practices in Smyrna, GA. She did her residency training at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital, in Cambridge, MA. She completed her training at a renowned fellowship in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Bethlehem, PA, and now helps train fellows as the Assistant Fellowship Director for the Foot and Ankle Salvage, Trauma, and Reconstruction Fellowship of Atlanta. She has published numerous research articles and publications on total ankle replacement, and lectures on this topic nationally.

Visit Dr. Miner at our Smyrna clinic.