Knees, hips, even shoulders; but ankles? Severe arthritis or a host of other conditions can affect ankles: still in their infancy, ankle replacements were developed and are growing more common.
The main reason that people need ankle replacements is that they sustained a trauma to this complicated joint-possibly an injury that didn’t heal correctly. Illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause result in the need for ankle replacements because of decreased ability to function, walking difficulties, and extreme pain.
Recently, I had an ankle replacement for severe arthritis and another bone condition. Surgery went smoothly and rehab is uneventful; it has been LONG. Why?
Much time must be spent with NO weight on the affected ankle, because the new ankle implant needs to ‘integrate’ with its new environment, the bone and this is best done without body weight. This does vary per type of implant and surgeon preference.
During this time, many surgeons prescribe physical therapy for even though patients cannot place weight on their ankle. the therapist guides patients in special exercises to decrease swelling, increase motion and increase strength in the opposite leg,
Finally, the day comes when walking is permitted! This can be in as many as 12 weeks. Yes, 3 months! Some physicians may require more, some less. But, eventually you walk.