Many people experience foot and ankle pain at some point in their lives. This is commonly a result of all of the walking and running we do on a regular basis, which constantly impact our bones and joints. Fortunately, most foot and ankle injuries do not require surgical treatment. In fact, ankle sprains are typically healed at home with ice compression, elevation, rest, and patience while the ankle heals over time. For others, however, injuries and disease can take a serious toll on the joints that we all depend on to help us move around. In some cases, total ankle replacement is the best option for relieving pain and restoring range of motion to the ankle joint.
- Never ignore your foot and ankle pain. You may have a relatively simple condition that can be healed with little to no professional medical treatment, but you also might be developing a more serious problem that can be halted effectively with early intervention. Consult one of our surgeons for total ankle replacement for further recommendations before trying any home remedies or ignoring the issue.
- Choose your shoes carefully. Whether you are running, walking, hiking, working in a busy warehouse, or sitting at a desk for most of the day, having the appropriate footwear is crucial for providing the support and comfort that your feet and ankles need every day. Your ankles can be greatly affected by a lack of support, so use high heels only on rare occasions, and replace old shoes when they no longer provide the support you need.
- Try non-surgical treatments first. Our ankle replacement surgeons strongly believe that the best approach to treatment is a conservative one. Only after exhausting various other options should you pursue an ankle arthroplasty. Be cautious of any medical advice that steers you toward ankle replacement before other treatments have been determined to be unsuccessful.
- Proper diet and exercise go a long way. If you do receive ankle replacements, the recovery process can involve several months of recovery and physical therapy. Your doctors and physical therapists can provide you with advice, medication, and treatment to make your recovery smooth and relatively comfortable; however, it is up to you to make sure that your diet and physical activity facilitate a lasting recovery. As each patient’s physical conditions and recovery needs are different, be sure to talk to one of our ankle specialists about your individual recovery process.