For patients with damaged ankles, ankle prosthesis may provide a reasonable option. Ankle replacement is a new procedure designed for elderly patients with low impact activity demands.
In this procedure, a badly damaged ankle is completely replaced with an artificial implant (prosthesis). Because the damaged ankle is completely removed, total ankle replacement can resolve a wide variety of serious ankle problems.
Although not as common as a total hip or knee joint replacement, advances in implant design have made ankle replacement a feasible option for many people.
Ankle replacement offers patients better mobility and movement compared to fusion surgery. By allowing motion at the ankle joint, less stress is transferred to the adjacent joints, which means lessened chances of arthritis in those adjacent joints.
Ankle replacement is most often recommended for patients with:
- Low impact activities
- Advanced arthritis of the ankle
- Destroyed ankle joint surfaces
- An ankle condition that interferes with daily activities
As with any joint replacement surgery, the ankle implant may loosen over the years or fail. If the implant failure is severe, revision surgery may be necessary.