The ankle replacement prostheses
What is an ankle replacment?
The current generation of ankle replacements are prostheses which resurface the two main bones articulating at the ankle which are the talus and the tibia.
In other words they realign the joint, by replacing the worn out joint surfaces. These components are made of metal.
Between the two components sits a plastic (UHMWPE) spacer, the meniscus.
This allows movement on both its surfaces. The addition of this component, though not present in the normal ankle, allows the artificial joints movement to match the normal ankle more closely.
This involves rotation as well as up and down movement (flexion and extension)
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This ability to match the normal ankles movement also significantly improves the durability of the joint .
The illustrative diagrams are of the STAR ankle replacement, which is one ankle replacement we use at the Clinic. This has been in use for over 20 years, in various forms. An equally tried and tested prosthesis is the Buechel-Pappas. There are also other newer prostheses available, though these have the disadvantage of relatively limited evidence as to their longevity, one of the main factors to consider before implantation.