If you suffer from a severe form of ankle osteoarthritis, you may be curious about the benefits of a total ankle replacement surgery.

Total ankle replacements can be common. In fact, surgeons perform thousands of them each year.

This surgery can be quite effective and can significantly improve your quality of life. But, if you’re considering it, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Listed below are four essential things seniors need to know before undergoing a total ankle replacement surgery.

1. The Ideal Candidate for an Ankle Replacement
Surgeons typically prefer to perform ankle replacements on patients who are older and less active.

This is because an ankle replacement usually is not as durable as a hip or knee replacement. Because younger patients tend to be more active, there’s a greater chance of them putting too much strain on the new joint.

2. Recovery Takes a While
After your surgery, you’ll likely only need to spend one night in the hospital recovering.

Once you return to your home, you’ll have to rest for 4-6 weeks before you try to move around on your new ankle joint. It also takes about three months of physical therapy for your ankle to fully heal.

3. You’ll Need to Use Mobility Aids
While you’re recovering, you’ll need to rely on mobility aids to help you get around without putting any strain on your ankle.

In the beginning, your doctor will likely recommend using crutches and wearing a boot to stabilize your ankle. You may also be able to use a knee walker scooter as an alternative to crutches if you prefer.

4. Most People are Satisfied with Their Results
Ankle replacement surgery is a relatively new procedure compared to knee and hip replacements.

They may not be as stable as their counterparts, but ankle replacements tend to yield very high patient satisfaction ratings. In fact, research shows that 90 percent of patients were satisfied with the results of their surgery within the first four years.

Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are some important factors to take into account before deciding if a total ankle replacement is right for you.

But, if you seem like an ideal candidate and are okay with a few months of downtime post-surgery, you’ll likely be very satisfied with the end result.