Physical Therapy For Ankle Replacement

Total ankle replacement, also known as “total ankle arthroplasty,” is when the ankle joint is completely replaced with an artificial one.

Ankle refers to the lower leg area 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. Total ankle replacement may be an option to treat the following conditions.

  • 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

It is normal to feel a lot of pain and swelling after a knee replacement. The swelling and pain can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Your surgeon may recommend pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs to manage your symptoms. However, a physical therapist can also help. A physical therapist can use cold therapy and electrical impulse stimulation techniques to reduce swelling.

Normalizing range of motion

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

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 gait stabilizing exercises and balance checks on you when you first start walking.

Gaining strength and flexibility

After an ankle replacement surgery, you will be on bed rest for a while, which is why the muscles of your leg, foot, and ankle become weaker. A physical therapist will restore your strength by programming strength-building exercises for your leg and ankle muscles. It takes time, and it may take 6-12 months, but you will soon be able to perform your function normally.

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