Mayo Clinic Connect
I am six weeks post surgery with a Total Ankle Replacement. I would like to hear about what to expect going forward, your type of prosthesis and how you are managing beginning to walk again.
I apologize for the late reply. If you don’t mind sharing, I have some questions about your ankle replacement. I can relate because I had end-stage arthritis in my left ankle and still have end-stage arthritis in my right ankle. Because I am 31 and active, it was recommended that I do an ankle-fusion in each of my ankles. I did my left ankle-fusion in December of 2014. It was not easy and was an extremely difficult recovery process. I was told I was not a candidate for ankle replacement because the parts are so small and prone to malfunction due to my physical lifestyle.
If you are comfortable sharing, how is your recovery going? What sort of activity levels did your providers say you would be able to do once you have recovered?
Hello Justin, I’d be glad to share my TAR (Total Ankle Replacement) experience with you. The surgery took place on 11/20/17, so I’m about a month and a half out. While I can’t call myself extremely active with regard to sports activity (I have JRA), and although I’m 72, I still work full time and travel to Europe many times a year, where I walk for hours at a time. When I first met with my surgeon, Dr Shi, at the Mayo, Jacksonville, we discussed the merits of both Fusion and TAR. The Talus bone of my Left Ankle was severely necrotic. Dr. Shi explained that I wouldn’t have the same degree of mobility with the fusion that I could achieve with the ankle replacement. He also told me that with the replacement the only restriction I would have would be to run for any length of time. I opted for the TAR.
The surgery itself went quite well, and after an overnight stay, I returned home with nerve blocks attached to the inside and outside of my leg. They blocked any pain I might’ve had for two days, after which I did feel considerable pain for several weeks. This was ameliorated by the morphine tablets I was prescribed. The first couple of weeks were very uncomfortable. I rented a hospital bed which I kept raised at the leg, coupled with a leg wedge, I spent all my time in bed, using an electric scooter to go to the bathroom. Now six weeks out, I’m still in the hospital bed with the leg raised, applying ice to my ankle throughout the waking hours. But I am spending a good amount of time walking around the house.
On 12/11/ 17, I returned to the Mayo, had my stitches and my cast removed and received a hard boot. When I again returned to the Mayo on 1/3/18, I was surprised to hear that my surgeon determined that my new ankle, an Infinity inbone ankle, is well placed and healing well. I was instructed to replace my boot with a regular pair of sneakers, and to begin walking,slowly allowing full weight bearing on my left leg.
The rotation of my ankle is remarkably good at this point. The only trouble I’m having is in raising my toes back, but even that has begun to stretch. My occupational therapist is working with me, and I do various stretching exercises during the day. The swelling has reduced considerably, but by the end of the day the swelling is severe.
As I said earlier, I’ve been assured that I will be able to resume all of my previous activities, with the exception of running, within a few months’ time.
If you’ve got any questions, I’ll be happy to share my experience with you as I go through my various stages.
I wish you the very best!
Heddy N Frank
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