There are several components that make up the ankle replacement device. All of the parts are made from highly biocompatible materials, including titanium and cobalt chrome metals on the tibial and talus sides of the joint. Between those two components, a third component made of a biocompatible plastic called polyethylene is attached to the tibial component to help the components glide against each other. These are identical materials to those used in hip and knee replacements. All of the materials have a long and successful track record for use in human joint replacements.
Advances in technology and materials have made ankle replacement more and more reliable. An increasing number of foot and ankle surgeons are using ankle replacement surgery with confidence to relieve pain and restore mobility in patients with compromised ankle function.
Although still a small niche segment, the ankle replacement market is growing rapidly. In 2009, about 2,300 procedures were performed in the US alone.* The Salto Talaris total ankle prosthesis is a leader in that market.
* Millennium Research Group, 2009
How long an ankle replacement lasts depends on many factors, including the type of implant used, and the patient’s physical condition, activity level and lifestyle. While prosthetic joints can provide increased mobility and pain relief for many years, it is a fact that they are mechanical bearings and may not last for the rest of the patient’s life.
The components used for ankle replacement are not different for men and women specifically; what differs is simply the size of the components based on the patient’s anatomy. During the procedure, the surgeon carefully chooses the components that best match your ankle joint. The implants are available in a range of sizes and combinations for a customized fit.
Sedentary patients may be better served by an ankle fusion. Increased body mass index (BMI) is just one factor that will be carefully considered by your surgeon. Increased BMI can be associated with mechanical failure of the implant.