Surgery That Replaces a Damaged Ankle Joint

Ankle pain caused by injuries or arthritis can intensify over the years, resulting in limited mobility and chronic pain. Total ankle replacement surgery – also known as ankle arthroplasty – replaces the damaged joint and bone with artificial ankle components to help relieve pain, regain strength and maximize mobility. At Penn State Health, our team of orthopaedic surgeons performs more than 1,000 joint replacements each year. We have many treatment options to best fit your needs, from minimally invasive surgery to complete joint replacement.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Signs and symptoms that you might need ankle replacement surgery include:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic ankle pain
  • Deformed ankle joint
  • Instability
  • Swelling
  • Weakness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of the nationally recognized orthopaedic specialists at Penn State Health. Our team will take a complete medical history, assess your ankle’s mobility and order X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to determine the cause of your pain. Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss treatment options with you to determine the best path to help you regain your normal activities. A total ankle replacement is typically recommended only when you’ve exhausted all other treatment options.

Patients undergoing total ankle replacement will not be able to put any weight on the ankle for four to six weeks following surgery. Physical therapy is an essential part of the recovery process and will help rebuild your ankle’s strength and mobility. Penn State Health provides comprehensive outpatient physical therapy options to help get back to your active lifestyle. Total ankle replacement can significantly improve ankle function with less pain after the recovery process.

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Top-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through their commitment to advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Coordinated, Specialized Care Through a Dedicated Institute

Our orthopaedic specialists work together through our dedicated Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. There, they focus on providing you with multidisciplinary, tailored care and state-of-the-art treatments and technologies. This produces the highest-quality patient outcomes. All physicians at the institute are fellowship-trained and subspecialize in additional niche areas of orthopaedics, including arthritis care and joint arthroplasty (joint replacement surgery).

Designated as a Blue Distinction® Center

Penn State Bone and Joint Institute is a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement. This superior designation from BlueCross BlueShield is only given to health care facilities and providers that stand out for their expertise in delivering specialty knee and hip replacement care. Our surgeons specialize in a range of pain-relieving procedures, including partial knee replacement, total joint arthroplasty, joint preservation surgery and complex revision surgery. They perform more than 1,000 joint replacement procedures every year.

Confidence in Treatment Through Education

We developed a special joint replacement education website just for patients undergoing joint arthroplasty. The website takes you step by step through the joint replacement process. From things to consider before choosing surgery to recovery after surgery, you’ll find the information you need to help you feel confident in your decision to undergo joint replacement.

Advancing Orthopaedic Medicine Through Research

The doctors and researchers in our Center for Orthopaedic Research and Translational Science at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are committed to advancing our field through scientific discovery and education. As the only academic medical center in central Pennsylvania, Hershey Medical Center is a national leader in research, in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine, and on the leading edge of new treatment options, including clinical trials.

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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