What Type Of Ankle Replacement Design Is Right For You?
Ankle replacement surgery has actually been around for about 30 years; however, earlier designs were not successful. These procedures were touted as being promising in the 1970s but due to such an obscene failure rate, they began to be discontinued in the 1980s. Today, these surgeries are making quite a comeback and so far the results are earning a bit of redemption over their previous reputation.
In the United States, there are currently five ankle prosthesis that are FDA-approved. The Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons offers the information that early ankle replacement designs only had two components and for them to be held in proper position, they required bone cement. The newest varieties don't use cement because the bone actually grows into the prosthesis which is along the same line as hip and knee replacements. All second generation implants now use either a fixed or mobile polyethylene bearing.
Are You A Good Candidate?
If you happen to be experiencing severe pain in your ankle because of arthritis, you are probably an ideal candidate for ankle replacement. On a side note, ankle fusion is another option for some individuals; however, a full replacement allows you to gain much more movement and mobility.
Unfortunately, not everyone who is suffering from arthritis is a good candidate. For individuals who have unstable or severely deformed ankles, ankle replacement is not a practical option. Your doctor will be able to tell you if this type of surgery is right for you.
Types Of Replacements
- Agility Ankle – In May 2002, this ankle replacement was FDA-approved. There is a talar and tibial component with the talar sitting in the foot's talus bone, allowing the foot the freedom to flex both up and down. The tibial component is made up of a plastic piece and a metal piece that bridges the space between the fibula and tibia to support them both. Bone cement is used with the Agility Ankle.
- Salto Talaris Anatomic Ankle – The FDA approved this ankle replacement in 2006. It is a redesigned version of the previous Salto Ankle Prosthesis model which was used in Europe for nine years prior. This model imitates the flexion/extension movement and the anatomy of the ankle joint.
- ECLIPSE Total Ankle Replacement – This model was also approved in 2006. It is a two-component design and consists of a fixed polyethylene surface and a tibial component.
- The INBONE Total Ankle – Wright Technology manufacturers this model that was approved by the FDA in 2005. This ankle replacement design is made up of a talar and tibial components as well. The tibial component is made from high-strength polyethylene that a titanium holder secures. A long stem anchors the implant securely within the tibia that is also made from titanium. The talar component is shaped anatomically, features a stem and is a highly polished chrome piece.
- TNK Ankle – This model is not currently approved by the FDA. It is a two-component, cement-less, fixed-bearing device that is only being used in Japan as of now.
- Buechel-Papas Device – This is an up-and-coming variety that is not currently approved but is expected to make headlines when it is. The Ceramic UltraCoat coating that the manufacturer has designed reduces joint friction and the BioCoat porous coating offers enhanced in-growth fixation. They even have a Revision Talar Unit that allows for a replacement of the talar if the bone present is deficient. It is suggested that this ankle replacement design will provide the most natural stability and mobility of any model to date. The tibial plate is exceptionally thick to prevent fractures and the dual fin design reduces the risk of transecting the talar blood supply and it also prevents the possibility of talar tilting.