Total Ankle Replacement


If you regularly experience ankle pain and it doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, consider a total ankle replacement. At North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists, Joshua Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, FACPM, and Sarina Epstein, DPM, AACFAS, use total ankle replacement to relieve pain caused by various conditions, including ankle instability and arthritis. To make an appointment in Gainesville or Lake City, Florida, call the nearest office or click the online booking feature today. 

What is a total ankle replacement?

Total ankle replacement is a type of orthopedic surgery that involves your North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists provider removing a diseased or damaged ankle joint and replacing it with an artificial prosthesis.

The goal of total ankle replacement is to reduce pain and swelling and encourage mobility. If you regularly experience ankle pain and it interferes with your ability to work or exercise, don’t wait to make an appointment at North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists. 

Why might I need a total ankle replacement?

North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists uses total ankle replacement to treat various conditions, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Post-traumatic arthritis
  • Chronic ankle instability

You might also benefit from a total ankle replacement if you dislocate your ankle joint as the result of a sports injury, work injury, or car accident.

How do I prepare for a total ankle replacement?

Before you undergo a total ankle replacement, it’s important to prepare in advance. During your initial consultation, let your provider know about any underlying medical conditions you have and about any medications you take, such as blood thinners. Your provider might ask you to stop taking certain drugs to reduce the risk of complications.

In addition, you’re asked to fast for at least 12 hours before your operation, so you’ll need to eat an early dinner the night before. 

Following total ankle replacement, you need to use a mobility device like crutches, a wheelchair, or a rollator for several weeks. As a result, make sure to clear out a few pathways in your home for easy navigation. It’s also a good idea to set up rides to and from the hospital with friends or family members.

What does total ankle replacement involve?

North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists often performs minimally invasive total ankle replacement at a hospital or surgical facility. 

On the day of your procedure, they administer general anesthesia that puts you to sleep. Once you’re comfortable, your surgeon makes a series of small incisions in your ankle, carefully removes the diseased or damaged part of your joint, and replaces it with an artificial prosthesis. Afterward, they close up the incisions and move you to a recovery room for observation.

Most total ankle replacement procedures take two or two and a half hours. 

What is recovery like following total ankle replacement?

Following total ankle replacement, it’s normal to experience some mild swelling and discomfort. Take your medication as prescribed, follow your surgeon’s recovery instructions, and attend each of your scheduled check-ups.

After your ankle heels for a week or two, you begin a physical therapy regimen. Physical therapy uses a combination of stretches and strengthening exercises to restore your mobility. 

To explore the benefits of a total ankle replacement, make an appointment at North Florida Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling the nearest office or clicking the online booking feature today.