Ankle Replacement Recovery Made Easy

Did you know that a common ankle sprain can eventually lead to debilitating ankle and foot arthritis over time? Unlike the hip and knee, ankle arthritis develops slowly over time,  usually from a traumatic event such as an ankle sprain or fracture. For a long time, the only correction was an ankle fusion, but now technology has advanced, and the simple understanding of a complex joint has been developed. Ankle joint replacement, or arthroplasty, is a viable healthy alternative to an ankle fusion that allows for restoring the ankle joint function and gait patterns. Typically, an ankle fusion will limit a person’s gait speed significantly ultimately impacting the knee and hip. Ankle joint replacements allow patients to recover faster, and get back to their lives sooner. Usually swimmers, hikers and golfers have the best outcomes as far as activity level after ankle replacements. 

New studies are demonstrating the survivorship of ankle joint replacements and longevity. A high success rate is usually attributed to an aggressive postoperative course of physical therapy and rehabilitation. “The first six weeks after starting formal physical therapy for an ankle joint replacement are the most important,” states Dr. Jeffrey E. McAlister, whom is board-certified and has a subspecialty in total ankle replacements.

Dr. McAlister is a contributing author to a text book chapter on total ankle rehabilitation and reviews this with his patients after every one of his cases. His physical therapy team always gets a copy, which allows for a streamlined patient protocol and experience.

Dr. McAlister has extensive experience with total ankle replacements being involved in hundreds of cases over the last seven years including revision total ankle arthroplasty, second opinion total ankle arthroplasty and alternative options as well.

“Total ankle arthroplasty or replacement is not a candidate for everyone, and a firm conversation is typically had in the office reviewing the indications, postoperative course and expectations.” If you believe that you are a candidate for a total ankle replacement, call the office to schedule at (602)955-5700. 



Berlet GC, Wilgus J, Crill MT, McAlister JE, Granata JD. Total Ankle Arthroplasty Rehabilitation. Total Ankle Replacement: An Operative Manual: 2013.

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