Ankle Replacement Surgery

Pre-operative information for

Total Ankle Replacement Surgery (TAR)

This information is intended to help with your understanding of what an Ankle Replacement operation means for you. Mr Uglow does not perform TAR personally and if he decides that this would be a good choice for you then he will refer to another surgeon who is expert at this procedure. Mr Uglow concentrates his expertise on certain other procedures to ensure best results are obtained. Relatively few patients are suitable for TAR and so it is better that fewer surgeons perform the procedure to ensure those surgeons have the greatest experience at this complex procedure.

  • Recent X-rays are required to plan the operation
  • Surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic.  Your leg will be made numb using local anaesthetic either behind your knee (a popliteal regional block) or in the spine (a spinal block) so that when you wake up you should have minimal or no pain
  • The operation is performed through an incision approximately 15cms long on the front of the leg centred over the ankle.  It will be closed with sutures or clips which will need removing 12- 14 days from surgery
  • The diseased joint is excised with a saw using jigs to accurately cut the bone surfaces.  The metal components are applied tightly to the bone and a plastic insert is placed between them to allow movement
  • The leg is placed in a back slab of plaster of paris and wrapped with wool and crepe bandages.  This allows for swelling of the leg after surgery.  The back slab is changed for a full fibreglass cast after 2 weeks which will be removed 6 weeks from surgery.
  • You must not put weight through the leg initially until the full cast is applied and then you may rest it to the floor.  Up to 50% weight can be taken from the 4th week and full weight is taken after the cast is removed
  • Physiotherapy is required to work on regaining movements of the ankle and gaining confidence in walking again

Post-operative Program