Many people are unfamiliar with the idea of ankle replacement surgery as an option for treatment in patients who have chronic ankle pain. Most people in the United States; however, have heard of or know someone who has undergone knee, hip, or shoulder replacements. This is because hip, knee, and shoulder replacements are significantly more commonly performed due to the makeup of these different joints.
The ankle joint is made up of three bones in which specialized cartilage allows the bones to move with minimal friction. As the cartilage breaks down it creates pain, stiffness, and swelling. The ankle joint however is much more congruent than many of the other joints in the body. This allows people to develop ankle arthritis and not have the severity of symptoms that you would have in other joints like the knee. Ankle replacements remove the damaged cartilage and bone and replace it with a synthetic joint that allows for greater motion.
The first ankle replacements were originally performed in the 1970s, however, the understanding of the procedure and the technology was just not there yet in order for these procedures to be successful mainstream. Over the last decade with better technology, there are now 4th and 5th generation implants on the market that provide patients with exceptional results and longevity for a painful arthritic ankle. Most patients can go home the same day as the procedure and are back into regular shoes in 6 to 8 weeks.
“Some of the happiest people I have in my practice are my total ankle replacement patients,” said Dr. Matthew Hopson of TPMG Orthopedics. A pioneer in this region for total ankle replacement surgery, Dr. Hopson performed the first ankle replacement surgery at each of the following hospitals: Sentara Regional Medical Center, Riverside Doctors Hospital, and Mary Immaculate Hospital.
If you’re suffering from chronic ankle pain, consider scheduling a consultation with our seasoned team of Foot & Ankle Specialists at TPMG Orthopedics – (757) 240 – 5096.
About Matthew A. Hopson, DPM, FACFAS
Matthew A. Hopson, DPM, FACFAS, is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon who joined TPMG Orthopedics in 2011. He specializes in adult and pediatric deformity correction of the foot and ankle. His practice includes a variety of cases ranging from complex deformities, lateral ankle instability, sports injuries, foot and ankle fractures, arthritis and other lower extremity ailments. Dr. Hopson is board certified in Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.