Ankle Replacement in Kansas City

Ankle Replacement


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Understanding the Basics Behind Ankle Arthroscopy


What is Ankle Arthroscopy?

At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we always exhaust all non-surgical measures, such as physical therapy or medicinal treatment, before recommending surgery.

When non-surgical treatments and conservative measures (like arthroscopy) aren’t enough to relieve symptoms and restore function, a total joint replacement may be necessary.

A total ankle replacement (or ankle arthroplasty) works by removing damaged bone and cartilage, often due to arthritis or acute injuries. Once removed, your surgeon will replace your old joint with a prosthesis. These prosthetic joints are made from metal, ceramic, and/or plastic materials, replicating the shape and range of motion of the ankle joint.

Our highly-trained orthopedic foot and ankle physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance have the expertise required to treat numerous issues, both surgically and non-surgically. When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.

Choosing an ankle arthroscopy in Kansas City is a decision that typically involves guidance from your primary care doctor and orthopedic physician.

When you choose Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, one of our highly-trained orthopedic foot and ankle specialists will conduct an initial evaluation to better understand your condition. After a complete review of your results, your provider will then discuss the best treatment options for you.

Your First Appointment

Some common symptoms and signs that total joint replacement is needed include:

  • Severe or worsening pain
  • Stiffness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Severe Aching
  • Crunching, popping or grating sounds
  • Lack of Balance

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Foot & Ankle Injuries Assessment


Assessing the Injury

Determining the proper treatment for your foot and ankle injury starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.

You can think of foot and ankle pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each individual patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.

Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:

  • Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
  • Does walking or putting weight through your foot increase your symptoms?
  • Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
  • Have you experienced any tingling or numbness in your foot that makes tasks difficult?
  • Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
  • Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
  • What are your lifestyle goals?
  • How has pain affected those goals?

 

The answers to these questions help shape the next steps of the assessment process and guide our physical examination. After a proper assessment, we often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.

Examination

X-Ray

Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the ankle, heel, or lower leg. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI captures images of muscles, bones, intervertebral discs, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.

 

 

CT Scan

A computerized tomography (CT) scan can provide a series of X-ray images taken from the ankle, showing the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissue in your body. A CT scan ultimately provides more detailed information than a regular X-Ray.

 

 

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Establishing a Care Plan

Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered to you.

Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like foot or ankle injuries. If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, let our experts determine the treatments that might be right for you. New technologies allow patients with severe foot and ankle pain to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.

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Pre-Op

Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:

  1. A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
  2. A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.

Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:

  • Pre-surgical laboratory tests
  • X-rays
  • Primary care clearance

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Pre-Op

Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery. Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.

Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery. Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.

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Day of Surgery

If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day: 

  • A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
  • A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
  • Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
  • The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.

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How it Works

A joint replacement in Kansas City is an invasive procedure, but one that is relatively common. For your surgery, we will put patients under anesthesia and generally complete the procedure in approximately two hours. With any joint replacement, it’s important to remember that your procedure is not a quick fix and that recovery will take time.

Though you won’t return to your normal activities right away, the good news is that the procedure is short enough that many patients can go home the same day as their surgery.

During an ankle replacement surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Your physician will make an incision in the ankle and insert tools that will allow them to
remove the arthritic portions of the joint. They then replace the damaged areas with a prosthetic composed of metal or plastic that mimics the normal alignment of the ankle. Most patients experience significant pain reduction and improvements in function following an ankle replacement procedure.

Ankle replacement surgery is not a quick fix, and you won’t be able to return to normal activities right away. But by following your provider’s instructions, you’ll have a great chance to achieve the outcome you expect.

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Post-Op & What to Expect

During an ankle replacement surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Your physician will make an incision in the ankle and insert tools that will allow them to

remove the arthritic portions of the joint. They then replace the damaged areas with a prosthetic composed of metal or plastic that mimics the normal alignment of the ankle. Most patients experience significant pain reduction and improvements in function following an ankle replacement procedure.

Ankle replacement surgery is not a quick fix, and you won’t be able to return to normal activities right away. But by following your provider’s instructions, you’ll have a great chance to achieve the outcome you expect.

Our Process

Symptoms


Common Signs and Symptoms of Foot & Ankle Injuries

With so many different parts working together in your feet and ankles, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.

Ankle injuries vary in their severity, ranging from smaller sprains and strains to a complete fracture. This can make walking and performing other normal daily tasks a very challenging feat. When a patient visits one of our KCOA offices, a skilled orthopedic specialist will ask you questions regarding your symptoms, what aggravates/alleviates your symptoms, and whether you have attempted prior therapies. Next comes a thorough physical exam. We will then review any images you bring with you and/or take new images. After determining the cause of your pain, we can discuss if ankle replacement surgery will work best for your needs.

Causes

Causes of Foot & Ankle Pain

The body has different kinds of joints, and they all face different challenges. The foot and ankle combine for a complex region of the body, totaling 26 bones and 33 small joints that experience daily wear and tear. Soft tissue protects the joints and bones and is made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels.

With all of these different bones in your feet and ankles, a foot or ankle fracture can be a relatively common injury. It’s also common that daily wear and tear adds up over the course of many years, causing your ankle joints to degenerate due to complications with arthritis or osteoporosis. In some cases, the injury may be severe enough where a total joint replacement becomes the best option to restore function and relieve symptoms.

Treatment Alternatives

Non-Surgical Options

Generally, surgery is not the first choice for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. Only after we’ve explored and exhausted every potential non-invasive option will our physicians recommend a surgical procedure, such as an ankle arthroscopy. Non-surgical treatments for foot, ankle or lower leg fractures include:

  • Physical Therapy – Movement can actually reduce pain and encourage healing in the ankle, as movement increases circulation and supplies other nutrients that support joint health and function. Stretching and flexibility exercises, strengthening exercises, deep tissue massages, and heat or cryotherapy may also be helpful.

  • Medications – Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you.

  • Immobilization/Stabilization – Providing stability to a joint that may be experiencing degenerative changes or is ‘loose’ due to injury can be effective in improving a patient’s function. In some instances a brace prescribed by one of our expert providers can make a huge difference. Immobilizing the joint for a period of time using casts, braces or walking boots may also calm inflammation that is making the area painful.

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.

Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.

With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.

Use our Symptom Tracker Tool to connect with the right KCOA physician for your unique needs—and get back to the things that matter most.

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Testimonials

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best!

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best! Sarah his nurse is kind and supportive. Dr. Tings nurse for surgery was absolutely the best! Dr. Ting, I have complete faith in. He is who I shall go to for anything he handles! Can’t say enough about him! Thank you all for making a scary time a completely peaceful event. You are the best!!

Valene Vanice

Staff is great

…just did my husbands hands on Wed. last week and can’t believe how well he is doing. We have already recommended you to our son and a few others. Your staff is great and my husband doing well. Thanks to you.

Sandra Lane

I left a very happy patient.

…I arrived a little bit late. I got checked in quickly and was back in a room within 10 minutes. Dr Rhodes was very friendly and took the time to pull up pictures of my surgery and show them and explain them to me. I left a very happy patient.

Michael Bachmann

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best I have ever worked with. He is knowledgeable, efficient, caring, and knows his patients. He has a special bedside manner that makes any patient in any situation feel comfortable. All of the nurses and office staff are wonderful as well.

Deb Woodard

I'm consistently impressed

In the process of treating my particular problem I’ve been to Apex probably 4-5 times. I’m consistently impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the amount of care & time they spend with me as a patient. They’re always very careful to make sure I understand the nature of the medical problem, the reasons for the diagnosis, and the type of treatment recommended. Stephanie’s care and concern is especially appreciated.

 

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