Ankle Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty)

Ankle Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty)

Relieves Ankle Pain; Restores Movement, Ankle Function

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Ankle replacement surgery relieves ankle pain and restores some normal movement and function when persistent ankle arthritis or a badly damaged ankle joint makes daily activities unbearable. You may benefit from ankle replacement surgery even if you have had ankle fusion. Duke’s foot and ankle surgeons in Durham, Raleigh, and Cary perform more ankle replacements than most centers in the U.S. We want you to enjoy lasting relief from your ankle pain, as well as better mobility.

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Do You Need Ankle Replacement Surgery?

Return to Active Lifestyle
If you suffer from painful ankle arthritis, and nonsurgical treatments have been ineffective, ankle replacement surgery -- also known as ankle arthroplasty -- may be your best option for returning to an active lifestyle. It's a newer option than ankle fusion, which limits your ankle’s range of motion. Your foot and ankle surgeon will evaluate the extent and severity of your ankle arthritis, as well as several others factors -- including your age, health, and activity level -- to determine if you are a candidate.

Less Pain, More Range of Motion
During the procedure, your worn-out ankle joint is replaced with a metal and plastic artificial joint that mimics your ankle’s natural movement. This allows you to walk with a more natural gait and protects your surrounding joints from developing arthritis. As a result, you experience less pain and more range of motion.

Recovery Period
The recovery period is typically three to six weeks in a cast, followed by physical therapy. While the artificial ankle can wear out and may need to be replaced, research shows 90 percent are still functioning well 10 years after surgery.

Two years ago, Jim Ashwell couldn't walk without pain. Years of ankle injuries and wear-and-tear left no joint space in his ankles, causing the bone to rub against bone. Watch the video to see how, after double total ankle replacements, Ashwell, 59, returned to dancing.

Duke Orthopaedics

Duke Health orthopaedic clinics are located in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, and throughout the Triangle.

Ankle Replacement Surgery

Total Ankle Replacement

Replacement of an ankle joint damaged by arthritis with a prosthesis made of plastic and metal. The benefits include freedom from pain, greater range of movement, and a natural walking gait. This procedure is one of the only alternatives to ankle fusion, which relieves pain but limits the joint’s up-and-down movement. 

Revision Ankle Replacement Surgery

Revision of a previously failed ankle replacement procedure. We frequently treat patients who had previous ankle replacement surgery but continue to struggle with pain and loss of function.

Ankle Replacement After Ankle Fusion

Duke ankle surgeons can replace an ankle joint that was previously fused. This restores lost movement and function, and gives you greater mobility.

Physical Therapy

Can help you regain movement and function in the weeks after your cast is removed.

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Choosing an Ankle Replacement Surgeon

Ankle replacement surgery is a complex, relatively new procedure that should be performed by an experienced surgeon who specializes in the procedure.

Extensive Experience
Duke’s foot and ankle surgeons routinely perform high volumes of ankle replacement surgeries, as well as revisions from ankle fusion to ankle replacement. Because of our extensive experience, we often recommend total ankle replacements to people who have been told at other centers that they are not candidates.

Ankle Replacement Research Leaders
Duke has been involved in the testing and evaluation of all the ankle replacements on the market in the U.S.  We can pick the most appropriate one for your individual needs. This results in positive patient outcomes.

Solid Success Record
Our extensive patient database allows us to assess the performance of replacement joints over time. This means you will only get a device or undergo a surgery that has a solid record of success.

Best Orthopaedic Hospital in North Carolina

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked for orthopaedics program is ranked the best in North Carolina.
Reviewed: 01/24/2017