Chronic ankle pain can limit your daily activities, keep you from your everyday tasks and make it hard to sleep at night. With an ankle replacement, you may be able to reduce or eliminate ankle pain and regain range of motion, so you can return to your normal activities.
The ankle joint is located at the junction of the leg and the foot. It is made up of three bones: the tibia, the fibula and the talus. The ankle joint allows the foot to dorsiflex (point the foot up) and plantarflex (point the foot down).
Ligaments (strong fibrous bands of tissue that connect two bones) are located on each side of the ankle joint to create stability in the joint. Tendons (strong fibrous structures that connect muscle to bone) are located throughout the foot to allow for motion in the other parts of the foot such as the movement of the toes. Cartilage is the specialized joint tissue that covers bones and allows the bones to move in relationship to each other with minimal friction. Loss of the cartilage can decrease joint function and produce pain, stiffness, swelling and warmth.
In the past couple of years, there have been some new implants designs that have cleared the FDA process. These new implants have significant advantages over the previous devices, including ease of placement and refined instrumentation for accuracy of placement. All of the current US total ankle replacement designs - Trabecular MetalTM Total Ankle (Zimmer), InboneTM (Wright Medical), Salto TalarisTM (Tornier), and S.T.A.R.TM Total Ankle (SBi) are available through Dr. Stephen Frania, DPM.