Total ankle arthroplasty: a recent surgery
For many years from now, total ankle arthroplasty procedures has significantly improved, after disappointing beginnings. Nowadays, the outcomes are reliable because long-lasting and reproducible. In case of a severe ankle condition, osteoarthritis or an inflammatory disease, it is now legitimate to consider this procedure.
Through a central anterior incision, the surgeon replaces bone cartilage of the tibia and the talus with metallic and polyethylene implants. These three components of the total ankle prosthesis slide with each other, which preserves the joint mobility. Full weight bearing is allow immediately after surgery and a physiotherapy program is started just after wound healing.
Like for all joint arthroplasties, some risks exist and have to be prevented. If so, the long-term results are reliable. Ten years after implantation, ankle prosthesis remain functioning in more than 90% of cases. In a more long-term perspective, the forecasts are promising.
Finally, this surgery is difficult and cases are rare for non specialized surgeons. Therefore, the French Association of Foot Surgery (AFCP) recommends to have total ankle arthroplasty performed only in specialized centres, used to this procedure.
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