Ankle Replacement Surgery (Ankle Arthroplasty)

Relieves Ankle Pain; Restores Movement, Ankle Function

For More Information 855-855-6484

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 surgery. Together, Duke’s ankle replacement surgeons throughout the Triangle 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 achieving 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 or total ankle replacement -- 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 other factors -- including your age, health, and activity level -- to determine whether 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% are still functioning well 10 years after surgery.

Duke Orthopaedics

Duke Health orthopaedic clinics are located throughout the Triangle. In-person and virtual appointments are available.

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 less pain, greater range of movement, and a more 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.

Get a Second Opinion

You can get a second opinion from a Duke foot and ankle specialist without leaving your living room. Make an appointment for an online video visit today.

3D Talus Replacement

If your talus -- the bone that connects the foot to the ankle -- is damaged from disease, a fracture, or a failed ankle replacement, in some cases it can be replaced by a custom 3D printed metal bone. This procedure is an alternative to amputation and to fusion of the heel to the shin bone, which immobilizes the ankle and results in a loss of height on one side of the body.

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. This can be done at home on your own, or under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Choosing an Ankle Replacement Surgeon

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

Extensive Experience
Duke’s foot and ankle surgeons are considered among the best ankle replacement surgeons because they routinely perform high volumes of ankle revision and ankle replacement surgeries, including those using 3D printed technology. 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 is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our orthopaedics program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 11/24/2023 by