Experience Unmatched in the State

Total ankle replacement, also called ankle arthroplasty, may be recommended to repair an ankle joint that has been severely damaged. Such damage is often caused by arthritis – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis – or by fracture, infection or other causes.

Non-surgical treatments may be used to reduce pain and restore function. However, when a total ankle replacement is the best alternative, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin has specialized expertise unlike any other center in the state.

Our orthopaedic surgeons perform a high volume of ankle replacement procedures and are trained in all of the ankle replacement systems approved today. Our surgeons lecture nationally and internationally, teaching other doctors how to perform total ankle replacements.

We also track all of our patient outcomes, and we are one of the few centers in the U.S. that evaluates patients – before and after ankle surgery – in our Gait Lab. Our complication rate is low and our outcomes are exceptional.

Evaluating Patients for Total Ankle Replacement

When patients are referred for evaluation, we review their medical history, general health, quality of their bone and soft tissues, type of deformity, and their job and lifestyle requirements to determine what treatment approach is best for them. An evaluation in our Gait Lab may also be part of this process. Not every patient will be eligible for a total ankle replacement. Ankle fusion, anterior ankle arthroplasty, ligament repair and stabilization are also options.

Performing Total Ankle Replacement Surgery

The surgeon first removes the arthritic bone and cartilage, and then prepares the ends of the shin bone (tibia) and the foot bone (talus). The new artificial ankle joint is then inserted and attached. Total ankle replacement allows for more normal movement of the joint. An ankle replacement may last 10 to 12 years, depending on the patient’s activity level and other factors.

After Surgery: Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation are Critical

Physical therapy and rehabilitation help patients build strength, function, flexibility, balance, coordination and other essential elements of healing. With specialized expertise, the latest equipment and proven approaches to physical therapy and rehabilitation, we offer patients a full spectrum of services.