Ankle surgery may be an option when more-conservative treatments don't relieve ankle pain caused by severe arthritis. The type of surgery that's right for you depends on your age, your level of activity, and the severity of your joint damage or deformity. Severely damaged ankle joints may need to have the bones fused together or even replaced with an artificial joint.
An ankle fusion
Ankle fusionEnlarge image
In this procedure, the surgeon roughens the ends of the damaged bones and then fastens them together with metal plates and screws. During the healing process, the damaged bones fuse together into one combined bone.
Ankle fusion is usually very successful in relieving arthritis pain. But it also reduces the ankle's motion. To make up for this, nearby joints may move more — which increases the risk of developing arthritis in these joints.
Ankle fusion is usually recommended for younger people with more-active lifestyles. Compared with ankle replacement, ankle fusion:
Is generally more durable
Requires fewer restrictions in activity during recovery
An ankle replacement
Ankle replacementEnlarge image
In this procedure, the surgeon removes the ends of the damaged bones and fits a plastic-and-metal replacement joint onto them. The artificial joint helps the ankle retain more-natural movement, so there's less risk of arthritis developing in nearby joints. However, loosening of the components can occur.
Artificial ankle joints are generally recommended for healthy people over the age of 60 who have less-active lifestyles. High-impact activities such as running and jumping can damage an artificial ankle joint.
Ankle replacement might not be a good choice if you:
Are younger than 50
Have weakened ankle ligaments
Participate in high-impact sports or work
Have misaligned ankle bones
Are significantly overweight
Have nerve damage from diabetes
Are a heavy smoker
The goal of cosmetic surgery is to improve a person's appearance, self-esteem and self-confidence. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on any part of the face and body.
Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries — known collectively as bariatric surgery —involve making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven't worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight. Some procedures limit how much you can eat. Other procedures work by reducing the body's ability to absorb nutrients. Some procedures do both.
While bariatric surgery can offer many benefits, all forms of weight-loss surgery are major procedures that can pose serious risks and side effects. Also, you must make permanent healthy changes to your diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of bariatric surgery.
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