Total ankle replacement (TAR) is a surgical procedure that is used to treat ankle arthritis. Arthritic changes may be a result of normal wear and tear due to aging or from a serious injury, such as a broken ankle or dislocation. Arthritis eventually leads to loss of cartilage, pain and/or deformity.
The goal of TAR is to improve ankle motion, so the patient has less pain during activity and can get moving again.
TAR is considered for patients that experience ankle pain and decreased function from arthritis after trying conservative management.
Conservative management includes anti-inflammatory medication, bracing, physical therapy, activity modification and pain medication. Patients with arthritis are usually good candidates for the ankle joint replacement. Other patients that should be considered are those that may need but do not want a fusion-type procedure that would eliminate the motion at the ankle joint.
Dr. Leon Reber is Board Certified in foot and ankle surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. He joined the Foot and Ankle Institute in 2006 and is a specialist in foot and ankle trauma and reconstructive surgery. He has also been specifically trained in total ankle (joint) replacement surgery. This is an exciting area of foot and ankle surgery that has shown successful outcomes in helping patients with painful ankle arthritis decrease their pain and drastically improve their quality of life.