Total Ankle Joint Replacement Implants

End stage ankle arthritis has been shown to be as emotionally and physically debilitating as end stage hip arthritis and for many years the gold standard of treatment has been ankle fusion. This is primarily do to failures of total ankle joint replacement surgeries dating back to the 1970s. Poor outcomes with first generation implants were the result of the failure to recognize the multiplane motion of the ankle joint.

These early implants were highly constrained, cemented designs that required massive bone resection and many required cutting the fibula to gain access to the ankle. All of these factors resulted in loosening of the implant.

Second generation implants surfaced in the 1980s and 1990s and attempted to use non cemented designs with pegs and/or stems to improve stability. Less constrained devices were used in an attempt to decrease the forces around the implant that were responsible for loosening.

This led to unexpected wear of the plastic (Polyethylene) component of the implant and ultimately instability and the formation of plastic debris within the joint.

Advancements in Total Ankle Replacement Surgery & Implants

Total Ankle Replacement Surgery | Dr. Michael R. Black | Foot and Ankle ReconstructionOver the last decade, significant advances have been made in terms of implant research and design, materials, surgical technique and patient selection. Foot and ankle surgeons are now considering total ankle replacement surgery a viable alternative to ankle fusion and recent literature supports this.

Up and down range of motion of the ankle is essential for normal walking and other activities such as bending and climbing stairs. Ankle range of motion also functions as a shock absorber during walking and protects the knee and foot joints from these forces that can otherwise lead to the progression of degenerative arthritis.

The primary advantage of total ankle joint replacement over ankle fusion is the preservation of ankle joint motion. Both fusion and ankle replacement decrease pain, but the ability to preserve motion serves to protect the surrounding joints form reactive degenerative arthritis and pain which has been shown to occur following ankle fusion. When this happens, additional surgery is usually required.

Dr. Black’s Advanced Ankle Replacement Training

Dr. Michael R. Black has been trained in all four of the ankle implants which are currently recognized by the FDA, including the STAR Ankle Replacement. He has trained under the some of the country’s foremost experts and pioneers of total ankle joint replacement on the west coast of the United States. Read more on Dr. Black’s medical training…

Ankle Implants Available

Total Ankle Replacement Surgery | Florida Center for Foot and Ankle ReconstructionThe Florida Center for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction is at the forefront of ankle implant surgery offering all four of the FDA recognized ankle implant devices:

  • The DePuy Agility
  • Tornier Salto Talaris
  • Wright Medical Inbone
  •  STAR Ankle Replacement by Small Bone Innovations
Patient Selection for Ankle Replacement

Proper patient selection is paramount to the success of this procedure.
The ideal patient:

  1. Weighs less than 250lbs
  2. Over 50 years of age
  3. Does not have a severe deformity of the ankle joint
  4. Does not participate in high impact activities

Other procedures are often needed to be performed simultaneously during surgery in order to ensure appropriate function of the implant device. Patients with diabetes are not candidates for total ankle replacement surgery.

Suffering from end stage ankle arthritis or post traumatic ankle arthritis?

Make an Appointment with Dr. Black for consultation to discuss your surgical options.
The Florida Center for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction
at Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, P.A.