Ankle replacement is an operation to remove the diseased and damaged parts of the ankle and replace them with an artificial joint.
At Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital we have expert ankle surgeons ready to help you take control of your health. Call today to see how we can help you.
The ankle is a complex joint because it needs to flex and rotate. Furthermore, it receives a lot of strain compared to other joints in the body. Ankle replacement is an operation to remove the diseased and damaged parts of the ankle and replace them with an artificial joint.
The procedure is most commonly performed on patients who are suffering with advanced ankle osteoarthritis.
The aim of the replacement is to reduce pain and increase function and mobility. However, the best results have been on older patients because their ankles are under less stress than the young.
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
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Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.
We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
Ankle replacement is carried out under a general anaesthetic or a spinal epidural.
The surgeon will make a cut in front of the ankle to expose the ankle joint. All tendons, nerves and blood vessels will be preserved and only damaged bone and cartilage will be removed before the artificial joint is inserted.
The degenerated natural surfaces of the ankle joint are replaced with an artificial cover known as prosthesis.
The ankle replacement is made up of three components. Two components are fixed to the joint. One of these is fixed to the tibia (lower end of the shin bone) and is flat and integrated into the bone with a short stem. The other one is fixed to the talus (top of the foot bone) and is curved and fixed into place with pegs. The third component is in the middle and remains mobile. This allows for the greatest range of movement and reduces stress between the bone and the implants.
All of the components are covered in a bioactive coating which encourages the patient’s own bone to grow into artificial fixtures. This will hopefully preserve the movement that they already had and facilitate extra mobility.
The cut is then closed with stitches and a splint, lightweight cast or brace may be fitted to prevent the ankle from moving.
The expected length of stay is 1-2 nights. This depends on each individual patient and will be set once you have seen the consultant.
Following surgery, no weight must be put upon the treated ankle. Walking assistance such as crutches can be used to aid mobility.
Physiotherapy is important to help improve the ankle’s full range of movement and to gradually weight bear.
Recovery can take up to six months post-surgery and it can be up to a year before the patient is fully recovered and the ankle replacement surgery can be completely evaluated.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. After an ankle replacement, typically our consultants will want to see you after your procedure to see how you are doing.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The hospital is approximately six miles from Royal Tunbridge Wells. We're located in Kent four miles southeast of Penshurst Place, the historic house once owned by King Henry VIII.
Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital
How to get here
From M25 Junction 5
Follow the A21 for four miles and at the roundabout take the second exit signposted Hildenborough and the B245. After two miles, turn right on the B2027 and pass through Leigh. Turn left (B2188) and at Penshurst turn right towards Fordcombe and the hospital is on the right after the village.
Follow the A21 to Pembury. Take the A264 exit to Tunbridge Wells town centre and follow the directions to East Grinstead (A264). Continue through Langton Green village and turn right to East Grinstead (A264). Turn immediately right into Fordcombe Road (B2188) and the hospital is 500 yards along on the left.
Follow the A267 into Tunbridge Wells town centre. At the roundabout, take the first exit into Eridge Road and then right at the small roundabout into Major Yorks Road. At the end of this road, turn left onto the A264 to East Grinstead (opposite Spa Hotel). Continue through Langton Green village and turn right to East Grinstead (A264). Turn right into Fordcombe Road (B2188) and the hospital is on the left.
Follow the A26 to Tunbridge Wells via Hadlow, Tonbridge and Southborough. Turn right at the mini-roundabout onto Mount Ephraim, bear next right [take the next right?] and follow the A264 to East Grinstead. Continue through Langton Green village and turn right to East Grinstead (A264). Turn right into Fordcombe Road (B2188) and the hospital is on the left.
The nearest station is Tunbridge Wells, which is approximately six miles from the hospital.
A taxi from Tunbridge Wells to the hospital will be in the region of £12.00.
We have free on-site parking.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
We're located in Kent four miles southeast of Penshurst Place, the historic house once owned by King Henry VIII.
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital.