Frequently Asked Questions

I had a total ankle replacement about six months ago. I'd like to get back on the tennis courts now. Are there any guidelines I should follow?

You should contact your orthopedic surgeon to ask this question. He or she will have a better idea what you can and can't do based on the type of implant and surgery done.

Research comparing active patients before and after total ankle replacement (TAR) offer a few suggestions. More studies are needed in this area. For now, some general guidelines include:

  • Increased use may mean increased wear of the polyethylene parts; loosening can occur.
  • A full physical therapy rehab program is advised before jumping into sports activities.
  • X-rays must show good bone stock and no signs of implant loosening.
  • Orthopedic surgeon must approve activity level, rate, and type of sport; a support brace may be needed.
  • Avoid quick stops and high-impact activities.
  • Let pain be your guide; any pain or discomfort must be reported to the surgeon as soon as possible.

    Victor Valderrabano, MD, et al. Sports and Recreation Activity of Ankle Arthritis Patients Before and After Total Ankle Replacement. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2006. Vol. 34. No. 6. Pp. 993-999.

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