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What is Ankle Replacement Surgery?

Ankle replacement surgery is a newer procedure that is similar to knee replacement. Arthritic changes may occur due to normal wear and tear, or from an injury such as a broken ankle. Undergoing total ankle replacement surgery in Newport Beach helps to address these issues. A diagnosis of arthritis can be determined through a physical exam, radiographs (x-rays), and advanced imaging such as CT scans and MRIs.

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TAR Specialist at Foot & Ankle Specialty Group

The goal of total ankle replacement surgery is to provide pain relief while preserving ankle motion so that the patient has less pain and better function during activity. We are proud to have Dr. Jessica Arneson on staff at our clinic, as she was part of a foot and ankle surgical fellowship specializing in total ankle replacements in Newport Beach.

Total Ankle Replacement at Foot and Ankle Specialty Group

doctor describing ankle replacement surgery to a patient

Surgery Details

If non-surgical treatment options cannot relieve the ankle pain being caused by arthritis, surgery will most likely be needed.

In total ankle replacement surgery, the joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant made of metal and plastic. If appropriate, some patients can qualify for custom CT-guided implants. 


After total ankle replacement surgery it’s normal to experience occasional swelling and numbness for a few months, which should continue to resolve. You will be unable to bear weight until the incision heals, which is typically around two weeks. After this, you will begin weight bearing in a protective boot, and you will also begin physical therapy. The goal is to have patients out of their protective boot and returning to regular shoe wear at six weeks. 

Are there Alternatives to TAR?

An alternative to total ankle replacement surgery is an ankle fusion, a surgical procedure in which the bones are fused to achieve bone union. It’s very important to discuss both total ankle replacement surgery and ankle fusion surgery with your surgeon during your consultation, as each individual patient has specific indications to qualify for the different procedures.

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Non-Surgical Options for Arthritis 

There are conservative treatment options to address the symptoms of arthritis. Non-surgical treatments include oral/topical anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, custom orthotics, and cortisone injections.

Cortisone injections are very common for an arthritic joint, and can provide months of relief. None of these options will replace your arthritis, but many can assist with symptomatic relief in an attempt to avoid surgical intervention.

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Ankle Replacement Surgery at Foot & Ankle Specialty Group

Foot & Ankle Specialty Group is a professional and nurturing team of female surgeons with a focus on getting you back to your activities and life. We are happy to provide ankle replacement surgery at our modern, sophisticated, comfortable podiatry office in Rancho Santa Margarita and Newport Beach. Founded by Dr. Salma Aziz, D.P.M, M.S. in 2001, our clinic has been built on time-tested practices. We spend plenty of time with each patient in order to fully understand their unique condition, and we follow up with care. Dr. Jessica Arneson has an extensive background in conducting ankle replacement surgery in Newport Beach, and our goal is to help you feel your best. 

Ankle Replacement Surgery FAQs:

What type of anesthesia is used?

What is the recovery time after ankle replacement surgery?

Will I be able to walk after ankle replacement surgery?

How long will the artificial ankle joint last?

What type of anesthesia is used?

General anesthesia is most commonly used for ankle replacement surgery, but some cases may involve spinal or regional anesthesia.

What is the recovery time after ankle replacement surgery?

Recovery times vary, but patients can expect several weeks to several months of recovery and rehabilitation. Full recovery can take up to a year.

Will I be able to walk after ankle replacement surgery?

Yes, the goal of ankle replacement surgery is to improve mobility and reduce pain. Most patients can walk again after the appropriate healing and rehabilitation.

How long will the artificial ankle joint last?

The lifespan of an artificial ankle joint can vary but typically ranges from 10 to 20 years or more. It may need to be replaced eventually, especially if it wears out or loosens over time.

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