Post Ankle Surgery Risks – What to Expect After Ankle Surgery

Post ankle surgery risks are still prevalent because irrespective of advancements in science, technology and medicine, there are still a number of possible complications that can occur once a patient is on the operating table. Post ankle surgery recovery can be marred at times by certain specific complications.

The fact that complications arise due to surgery can be true for operations of all kinds, right from a small two to four hour kidney transplant to a removing a tumor on the spinal cord, which can take up to 15 hours. It is always better to know the risks before getting into something rather than just jumping into it blindfolded.

Recommended Reading: How to Prepare for an Ankle Fusion Surgery

post ankle surgery risks

Deep vein thrombosis is one of the major post ankle surgery risks you should be aware of

Post Ankle Surgery Risks – An In Depth Look

Ankle fusion surgeries also bear their own degree of post ankle surgery risks. Since the operation will be performed with the patient under a general anesthetic, there are complications that can arise with the patient’s heart or his lungs even during the procedure.

Before the procedure starts, all patients are prepared well for the operation. This is to ensure that the degree of risks is brought down as close to zero as possible.

Post Ankle Surgery Risk #1 – General Infection

When a patient is lying open on the operating table, there is a risk of him getting infected and in order to avoid this complication, the patient is given a dose of antibiotics. In case the infection is already in the patient’s blood stream, doctors normally insist that he stay in the hospital so that he can be given antibiotics through a vein in his arms (intravenous). This is a rather serious complication, albeit a rare one.

There is also a possibility that the pins from the external frame that are put on the patient’s leg might get infected. In this case, the patient is immediately put on antibiotics and the pins are replaced after putting him on general anesthetic as otherwise it can cause post ankle surgery pain.

Post Ankle Surgery Risk #2 – Deep Vein Thrombosis

This is an equally serious complication that can occur in such circumstances. The deep veins in the leg are essentially drain pipes for the blood. Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is when there is an occurrence of clots in these drain pipes or deep veins. This generally happens immediately after the operation in the first few days as the patient’s leg movement will be restricted.

There is a chance that a part of the clot can detach itself and travel through to the lungs via the blood pipes. Once the clot is in the lungs, it can obstruct the blood vessels either completely or partially which can prove to be lethal. The patient is given blood-thinners like heparin to make sure that no clots form in his deep veins.

During the initial days of ankle surgery rehabilitation, the patient is encouraged to move around and talk to the nurses and take help from his physiotherapists to prevent the formation of a clot.

In some cases, there is a possibility that the bones will not fuse. In such cases, a secondary operation might be necessary. It is highly unlikely, but sometimes a blood vessel or a nerve might get damaged when performing the operation and the problem might arise after ankle surgery. A second operation will be required to fix this problem.

Doctors will be well aware of these post ankle surgery complications and they can ideally brief the patients on every small detail about the procedure. Complications may differ based on the different types of ankle surgeries that are performed today, so ensure you are aware of any potential complications that may arise by discussing this with your medical practitioner.


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