Ankle Arthrodesis vs. Total Ankle Replacement (TAR)

AAA Triple A® Ankle replacement

"Total Ankle Replacement (TAR) was first attempted in the 1970s, but poor results led to its being considered inferior to ankle fusion until the late 1980s and early 1990s. By that time, newer designs which more closely replicated the natural anatomy of the ankle, showed improved clinical outcomes. Currently, even though controversy still exists about the effectiveness of TAR compared to ankle fusion, TAR has shown promising mid-term results and should no longer be considered an experimental procedure. "
Davide Edoardo Bonasia, MD, et al "Total Ankle Replacement: Why, When and How?" The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal Volume 30 pp 119-130
Free article at PMC

Am I a Candidate for a Total Ankle Replacement (TAR)

AAA Triple A® Ankle replacement

Only your surgeon can determine this. In general it is exepted that healthy, non-diabetic patients with painful and disabling ankle arthritis that has failed to improve with non-surgical treatment are candidates for ankle replacement. Patients must have adequate skin coverage over the ankle, be infection-free both at the ankle and elsewhere, have normal sensation and muscle control of the foot and ankle. If you have osteoarthritis in both ankles Total Ankle Replacement might certainly be a better option as a double sided arthrodesis will limit normal function dramatically. Most manufacturers of Total Ankle Implants will also mention in there instructions for use that the implant should be used preferably in a patient with good alignment, good bone support, sufficient range of motion and no other complicating factors such as previous fractures or bone malformations.
The aim of the AAA Triple A® design team was to stretch the envelope of indications to be able to replace the ankle joint also in " less than ideal" candidates . This required not only redesign of the implant components, but also of the instrumentation and a new approach of the surgical technique.

Which ankle replacement?

AAA Triple A® Ankle replacement

There about a dozen different Total Ankle Replacement Designs currently available.
Most literature will stipulate that a three-compartmental mobile bearing design that is inserted without the use of (acrylic) bone cement is the "state of the art"
For detailed information about history, development and design options please go to the surgeons section of this site

treatment options