Allergic reaction to the artificial joint (common)
Before the Procedure
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other drugs.
Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see your doctor who treats you for these conditions.
Tell your doctor if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than one or two drinks a day.
If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your doctor or nurse for help. Smoking can slow down wound and bone healing.
Always let your doctor know about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you may have before your surgery.
You may want to visit the physical therapist to learn some exercises to do before surgery. The physical therapist can also teach you how to correctly use crutches.
On the day of your surgery:
You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.
Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
After the Procedure
After surgery, you will most likely need to stay in the hospital for at least one night. You may have received a nerve block that controls pain for the first 12 - 24 hours after surgery.
Your ankle will be in a cast or a splint after surgery. A small tube that helps drain blood from the ankle joint may be left in your ankle for 1 or 2 days. To keep swelling down, keep your foot raised higher than your heart while you are sleeping or resting.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to teach you exercises that will help you move more easily.
A successful ankle replacement will likely:
Decrease or get rid of your pain
Allow you to move your ankle up and down
Usually, total ankle replacements last 10 or more years. How long yours lasts will depend on your activity level, overall health, and the amount of damage to your ankle joint before surgery.