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Foot And Ankle Joint Replacement Specialist

LA Orthopaedic Specialists

Orthopedic Surgery Practice located in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

If you have a severely injured ankle or advanced arthritis and you’ve run out of treatment options, foot and ankle joint replacement could be the solution. Matthew Nalamlieng, DPM, at LA Orthopaedic Specialists in Downtown Los Angeles, California, has expertise in treating foot and ankle conditions, and considerable experience carrying out foot and ankle joint replacements. Call LA Orthopaedic Specialists today to find out more or book an appointment online.

Foot and Ankle Joint Replacement Q & A

What is foot and ankle joint replacement?

Foot and ankle joint replacement is a surgical procedure that involves removing an irreparable joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. Foot and ankle joint replacement is most often necessary because of severe, advanced osteoarthritis in the joint.

Osteoarthritis develops as you get older when the protective coating of cartilage on the ends of your bones becomes so worn it exposes the bones. The bones catch and rub against each other, creating friction and inflammation. Your foot and ankle become swollen, stiff, and painful.

There are other forms of arthritis that can affect the foot and ankle. The most common after osteoarthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which has autoimmune causes rather than being due to wear-and-tear. Trauma to the joint can also mean you need to undergo joint replacement.

When would I need foot and ankle joint replacement?

Foot and ankle joint replacement is an option you can consider when there are no other effective choices left for you to try.

LA Orthopaedic Specialists typically starts treatment for foot and ankle pain with conservative approaches such as:

  • Pain medication
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Shoe inserts
  • Custom orthotics
  • Physical therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections

If these treatments are no longer relieving your symptoms, or if you have an injury that won’t heal on its own, there are several procedures LA Orthopaedic Specialists might recommend.

These include arthroscopic debridement, which is a minimally invasive form of surgery that clears away debris and smooths any rough bone surfaces. 

Alternatively, you might be a suitable candidate for ankle fusion, a procedure that joins the bones together to stabilize the joint and relieve pain.

If none of these options is suitable for you, foot and ankle replacement might be the best option. Dr. Nalamlieng at LA Orthopaedic Specialists is the practice’s expert in performing foot and ankle joint replacement.

How is foot and ankle joint replacement surgery performed?

Foot and ankle joint replacement surgery takes place under general anesthetic and can take several hours to perform.

Dr. Nalamlieng first needs to remove the damaged ends of each bone. He might use minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques to access the bones or use traditional open surgery, depending on which method offers you the best outcome.

Dr. Nalamlieng smooths and shapes the remaining, healthy bone, then attaches metal caps to replace the damaged bones. He also puts a plastic spacer in-between the bones to enable the new caps to slide smoothly over each other without creating friction.

If foot and ankle pain is making it hard for you to live a normal life, call LA Orthopaedic Specialists today and schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.