The idea of discussing ankle replacement surgery with your doctor can be intimidating. Here are some questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor when considering ankle surgery. You can even print this list and take it with you to your appointment. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your pain to share with your doctor at the same time.
For information about the risks associated with total ankle replacement surgery, click here.
1. How do you determine whether or not I need ankle surgery?
2. What would happen if I wait six months? One year?
3. Are there alternative treatments I could try first?
4. What are the most common complications and how are they treated?
5. What are the other risks associated with ankle replacement?
6. How many times have you performed this surgery?
7. How involved are you in each surgery? What role do residents play?
8. How long will the incision/scar be?
9. What is the expected recovery time?
10. How long will I have to be away from work?
11. How will I feel in one month after surgery? Two months? One year?
12. How many days will I be in the hospital after surgery?
13. Will I have physical therapy? If so, how often and for how long?
14. Will I need full-time or part-time care? If so, for how long?
15. When will I be able to walk after surgery?
16. Will I need crutches or a walker? If so, for how long?
17. When will I be able to climb stairs after surgery?
18. When will I be able to drive a car after surgery?
19. When can I shower after surgery?
20. When will I be able to resume normal lifestyle activities (e.g., work, sports, housework, gardening, etc.)?
21. Which sports, if any, will I be able to play again?
22. Will I have any permanent activity restrictions?
23. Are there lifting limits?
24. Will I set off metal detectors at the airport?
25. Will I need antibiotics for dental care?
26. What is the implant made of?
27. Is there a possibility the implants will need to be replaced?
28. What can I do to help keep my joint replacement functioning as long as possible?
While not an exhaustive list, you can use this as a starting point to open a conversation with your doctor.