Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Ankle FAQ

Question:

About 18 months ago I had a total ankle replacement for severe ankle arthritis. Everything seemed to be going good until last month. I started to have ankle pain and a loss of motion. It almost feels like the joint is jammed together. Is this possible?

Answer:

You may be describing a situation called subsidence. The implant can actually sink down into the bone. This can cause the symptoms you are having. You may also feel like the leg on that side is shorter. Your pant legs may seem uneven or your waist may look lower on one side compared to the other.

Call your surgeon and report these problems. Early attention can make the difference between implant revision and removal.

Justin Greisberg, MD, et al. Takedown of Ankle Fusion and Conversion to Total Ankle Replacement. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. July 2004. Vol. 424. Pp. 80-88.

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