Your feet, and particularly your ankles, bear the burden of whatever activities you're involved in each day. Almost every movement you make requires ankle activity. Some activities such as participating in sports create ankle injuries. However, you can suffer other ankle injuries depending upon the weight that your ankle uses to balance your every movement and stance. Your orthopedic doctor could decide that your particular injury needs total ankle replacement surgery.

Torn Ligaments

You can suffer ankle pain that is caused by ligaments being torn and even stretched. This type of distressing pain happens to athletes but can also happen during regular walking activity. You can slip when walking on a sidewalk or stumble over an object on a pathway. The next thing you know, you are experiencing terrible pain in your ankle. Treatment of your ankle sprain depends largely on the severity of the pain you are experiencing.

Ankle Tendon Injuries

Orthopedic doctors sometimes allow stretched tendons to heal on their own while instructing you to elevate your injured ankle and to apply cold ice packs to the injured ankle. However, when your doctor diagnoses your injury to be more serious, that diagnosis could indicate a torn tendon. The next step could require you to wear medical boots that aid you in walking while the tear heals. You also may only need a cast and splinting treatment when a mildly fractured ankle bone is involved.

Nonsurgical or Surgical Decision

More serious injuries that your orthopedic doctor discovers from testing could mean that you must undergo surgery when even physical therapy treatment does not improve your ankle injury. Your doctor recommends the different nonsurgical treatment options, but the time may arrive that your continuing pain and the degree of the injury would best benefit from surgical intervention.

Bone Fractures

A surgical decision usually follows more testing, which may reveal that your injury is a serious fracture. One or more of the three bones that make up your ankle might be fractured. So your orthopedic doctor makes the decision whether to have one or more of your ankle bones realigned. That step is usually taken prior to the decision to fit you with a splint or cast. If all goes well with splinting or a cast, then you may not need surgery after all.

Cut-and-Dry Surgical Decision

Some fracture injuries for other patients may be a cut-and-dry decision to move forward with surgery because they have unfortunately suffered a very serious and dangerous fracture. In such cases, your ankle doctor will recommend that you undergo a total ankle replacement. Your doctor will assure you that ankle replacements are similar to total hip replacement surgery, and he or she can and should give you more information about the surgery.