Physical therapy and ankle replacement

Physical therapy and ankle replacement

April 26, 2022

Total ankle replacement is also known by the term “total ankle arthroplasty”. This is when your ankle joint is completely replaced with an artificial one. Ankle refers to the area of the lower leg where your talus bone meets the tibia. Sometimes, the cartilage that covers these Bones begins to dissolve. This causes friction between bone and bone, absorbing bone, and uncontrollable pain. A total ankle replacement is the best treatment in this case. To treat the following conditions, total ankle replacement may be an option.
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Trauma-related arthritis can cause arthritis
  • Trauma to the joints can cause joint damage
  • Septic arthritis

Physical therapy plays a role in the total ankle replacement

Postoperative pain management is a key role of physical therapy.
  • Swelling and pain reduction

After knee replacement, it is normal to feel a lot of pain and swelling. The swelling and pain can last anywhere from 6-12 months. To manage your symptoms, your surgeon may recommend pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs. However, a physical therapist can also help. A physical therapist can use techniques such as cold therapy and electrical impulse stimulation to reduce swelling.
  • Normalizing range of motion

Your ankle will be stiff after ankle replacement surgery. A physical therapist may use a variety of techniques to normalize your range of motion, such as soft tissue massage techniques and stretching joint mobilization techniques.
  • Stabilizing gait, balance

It is important that your ankles are properly reattached and that your foot stays in the boot. When you first start walking, your gait and balance will be off. Your physical therapist will perform a series of gait stabilizing exercises and balance checks on you when you first start walking.
  • Gaining strength and flexibility

You will be on bed rest for a while after an ankle replacement surgery. This is why the muscles of your leg, foot, and ankle become weaker. Your strength will be restored by a physical therapist who will also program strength-building exercises to your leg and ankle muscles. It takes time. It may take 6-12 months, but you will soon be able perform your function normally.

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