That which can heal, can also harm. This paradoxical statement has confounded the medical community since the dawn of time and it is something that cannot be overcome, at least, not any time soon. What this means is that irrespective of the medical intervention that takes place, no matter how noble the cause, there is and always will be the risk of further complications arising by virtue of the treatment. Therefore, a patient who suffers from arthritis of the ankle and who is contemplating the possibility of undergoing elective ankle surgery to (hopefully) provide them with a measure of relief from their arthritis will need to be aware of these potential concerns.
Ankle replacement surgery is a radical and exciting new treatment option for the treatment of ankle arthritis and specifically, it can provide the patient with a significant increase in the movement of their ankle, their level of activity and energy levels, not to mention a major reduction in the amount of pain and stiffness they endure on a daily basis. Furthermore, when used correctly, ankle replacement surgery can effectively allow the patient to delay the need for more “end stage” methods of treating ankle arthritis such as amputation, or total ankle fusion.
However, true to form, ankle replacement surgery is by no means of the imagination totally free of any risks whatsoever, and so the following is an overview of some of these potential risks and consequences which may arise by virtue of the surgery.
What are the risks of ankle replacement surgery?
Without a shadow of doubt, one of the major concerns and risks commonly associated with ankle replacement surgery is that the prosthetic will fail and wear out, and therefore require to be replaced. Unfortunately, there are only a limited number of times that the procedure can be replicated, and the reason for this is due to the fact that each time that the prosthetic has to be totally replaced means that additional amounts of bone will be removed from the ankle.
Therefore, given that active patients will place a greater amount of mechanical stress on the prosthetic, surgeons are reluctant to perform the surgery on them.
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