Total ankle arthroplasty
In the event that ankle pain does not respond to conservative management treatments such as anti-inflamatory drugs, physical therapy,
braces or pain medication, an ankle replacement procedure may be indicated. Ankle replacement is not recommended for patients with
deformities of the bottom bone of the ankle joint.
Ankle fusion is the most common surgery to treat arthritis and is an alternative to ankle replacement.
However, for those patients that do not wish to have the ankle fused, especially when proper function of the foot and
ankle are critical such as in patients that have very active lives and engage in sports activities, ankle replacement therapy
is a chioce that can be carefully considered.
The obvious advantage of this procedure over a
fusion is the preservation of ankle motion. However, an ankle replacement should in no
way be compared to a knee replacement, which is one of the most successful operations in
orthopedic surgery. The prostheses for this operation have undergone quite an evolution
over the years. Some older implants have been removed from the market by the FDA due
to concerns of loosening of the implants. The newer implants have most definitely
improved upon the faults of previous products. However concerns about
the longevity of these implants still exist, and there are no long-term studies to
demonstrate longevity of the procedure.