4 Total Ankle Replacement

Total ankle arthroplasty also known as total ankle replacement, is a surgical procedure that replaces the arthritic ankle joint with a newly resurfaced ankle joint. This procedure is indicated to relieve pain and maintain motion in an end stage arthritic ankle joint.

Why Total Ankle Replacement?

Arthritic changes may be a result of normal wear and tear due to aging or from an injury such as a broken ankle or dislocation. Arthritis eventually leads to loss of cartilage, pain, and/or deformity.

Surgeons perform a total ankle replacement by removing the arthritic cartilage and part of the bone from the ankle joint (tibia & talus) and replacing it with metal and plastic components. This procedure will preserve motion and function as opposed to an ankle fusion that is also indicated for end stage ankle arthritis. By preserving motion our patient’s will ultimately improve their quality of life. Another benefit of maintaining ankle range of motion is that the surrounding joints in the foot do not take on any additional stress The goal of total ankle replacement is to provide pain relief while preserving ankle motion so the patient has less pain and better function during activity.

Who is considered a good candidate for total ankle replacement?

  • Patient over the age of 50 years old
  • BMI of 25 or less
  • Chronic ankle pain and decreased function from arthritis.
  • Failure of conservative management

Not all patients are good candidates for total ankle replacement and thorough evaluation and patient expectations are an important consideration. Patients with severe deformity and loss of pain are also not good candidates for ankle replacement.

If you are experiencing severe ankle pain from a prior trauma or from an auto immune arthritic condition such as Rheumatoid Arthritis please ask us if you would be a good candidate for Total Ankle Replacement.