Ankle Arthroplasty (Total Ankle Replacement)

Ankle Arthroplasty, also called Total Ankle Replacement, is a replacement surgery of a damaged ankle joint using an artificial implant. The ankle joint is where your shinbone rests on top of a bone of your foot, the talus. Arthritis can affect this joint as well as other joints in the foot. Over time, the smooth cartilage on the surface of the bones wears away.

Arthroplasty can relieve pain and restore enough function in a joint to allow a person to perform normal daily activities.


Ankle replacement surgery may make sense for you if you have severe arthritis in your ankle. This can cause symptoms like severe pain, inflammation, and stiffness, which can lead to difficulty walking.

Ankle Joint Injury
An ankle joint injury may be due to the soft tissues of a ligament or tendon stretching beyond their capacity, better known as an ankle sprain or strain.

Arthritis of the Foot and Ankle
The pain and stiffness you feel in your feet and ankles as you age could be arthritis. If left untreated, this nagging pain can get worse over time, eventually making it difficult to walk even short distances.

Bursitis is a painful inflammation of a small fluid-filled sac called a bursa, which is located under the tendon and serves as it’s protection.

Equinus Contracture
Equinus contracture is a condition in which the upward bending motion of the ankle joint is limited, lacking the flexibility to lift the top of the foot.

Gout is a kind of arthritis. It can cause a sensation of sudden burning, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joint (usually the big toe).

Great Big Toe Joint Disorder
Hallux rigidus is a disorder of the joint located at the base of the great big toe. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint.

Haglund’s Deformity
Haglund’s deformity is a bony enlargement on the back of the heel that, when it rubs against shoes, may irritate the soft tissues near the Achilles tendon.

Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in one or more joints. Cartilage cushions the bones during movement.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition where the immune system attacks the joint lining tissue, causing painful inflammation and stiffness.


Doctors use ankle replacement surgery to replace the damaged joint and eliminate any associated pain and swelling. The whole operation may take a few hours. In general, you can expect the following:

  • You will receive general anesthesia, which will make you sleep so that you feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure.
  • Your doctor will carefully monitor your vital signs, like your heart rate and blood pressure, during the operation.
  • After cleaning the affected area, your will make an incision through the skin and muscle of your ankle, and possibly another one on your foot.
  • Your doctor will remove the damaged portions of your shinbone and talus.
  • Next, your doctor will attach the new metal joint surfaces into the pieces of your remaining bones, possibly utilizing a special type of cement to hold everything in place.
  • Your doctor will also probably insert a piece of plastic between the new metal joint spaces, so they can glide easily against each other.
  • Your doctor may make other necessary repairs.
  • Your doctor will surgically close the layers of skin and muscle around your ankle and foot.
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