Dr. Travis Kemp, one of our orthopedic surgeon partners, performs foot and ankle surgeries. One of the more common surgeries Dr. Kemp performs is a total ankle replacement. The purpose of a total ankle replacement is to provide relief from pain while still allowing the ankle to move. Usually stiffness in the joint develops as a result of arthritis in the joint.
In some cases, ankle fusion is used to treat arthritis in the joint. During an ankle fusion, the tibia and talus heal together to make one bone. This helps patients with pain relief but may not be the best option for an active patient who would like to keep their range of motion in their ankle joint. In an ankle replacement, the joint is removed but replaced with metal and plastic components used to mimic the actual motion of the joint. Additionally, preserving the joint between the tibia and talus takes pressure off other joints in the foot helping to prevent more damage or degeneration in the foot.
After a patient has decided to go forward with a total ankle replacement, they will work with Travis Kemp, MD to decide which replacement will be the best fit. Dr. Kemp utilizes multiple ankle replacement systems including Wright Medical total ankle systems which include: INBONE, INFINIITY, and PROPHECY. Another implanted used by Dr. Kemp is the Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement (STAR) developed by Dr. Hakon Kofoed.
Regardless of which system a patient chooses the preoperative and post-operative protocols are similar. A total ankle replacement is an in-patient procedure that usually lasts under two hours. Once the surgery is completed the ankle is immobilized in a cast or boot, and patients are not able to weight bear for three weeks. Usually, 6 weeks after surgery, patients can begin to bear weight and start physical therapy. After 10 weeks, patients receive a lace up brace and continue physical therapy. For most patients, it is recommended to follow up each year after their 6-month visit.
If you are having problems with ankle pain or would like a second opinion, walk-in to Direct Orthopedic Care 7 days a week!