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News Letter

Home Health Education Foot & Ankle
Preparing for Ankle Replacement Surgery Print E-mail

The decision to proceed with ankle replacement surgery should be made by you and your doctor only after you feel that you understand as much about the procedure as possible.

Once the decision to proceed with surgery is made, there are several things that may need to be done. Your foot and ankle surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your medical or family doctor. This is to ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation. You may also need to spend time with the physical therapist that will be managing your rehabilitation after the surgery.

On occasion a therapist will begin the teaching process before the surgery to ensure that you are ready for the rehabilitation afterwards. This includes measurements of your current pain levels, functional abilities, and the available movement and strength of each ankle. A second purpose of the preoperative visit is to prepare you for your upcoming surgery. You?ll begin to practice using crutches since you will need to use these for several weeks after surgery.

Finally, an assessment will be made of any needs you?ll have at home once you?re released from the hospital. On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery.

You should plan on being in the hospital for one to two nights following surgery. How long depends on your progress with physical therapy, how much discomfort you are in, your ability to get out of bed, and success using crutches or a walker. To perform an artificial ankle replacement, you may be placed under general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or you may have a spinal type anesthetic.


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