Ankle arthritis is a debilitating condition that leaves many patients in severe pain and greatly limits their activities. Until recently, the standard treatment for bone-on-bone ankle pain has been ankle fusion, or arthrodesis, in which surgeons literally fuse the bones of the ankle joint together. However, in the past few years, total ankle replacement surgery, also known as total ankle arthroplasty (TAA), has emerged as an alternate treatment for those with end-stage arthritis of the ankle.
Explore this issueSeptember 2015
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History of Ankle Replacements
According to a Wall Street Journal article from November 2014, 26% of all ankle surgeries were replacements in 2010, up from 13% in 2007, and the global market for total replacement has grown 15% to 20% annually for the last several years, with 16,000 procedures completed in 2014.1
The first generation of devices used for ankle replacement in the mid-1970s yielded mixed results, but in the late 1990s, newer implants were developed that boast a higher success rate. Today, four ankle prostheses are approved for use in the U.S. These new designs don’t require the bones to be fused; instead, bone grows into the ankle prosthesis similar to hip and knee replacements.