The ankle is a hinge joint made up of three bones, which are connected by muscles, ligaments and tendons. These bones are:
- the talus, which is the ankle bone,
- the tibia, which is the large shin bone,
- the fibula, which is the smaller shin bone, located next to the tibia.
The bones, at the articular surface, are covered with a protective membrane called synovium and the whole joint is enclosed in a joint capsule inside which is a lubricant called synovial fluid.
Unlike hip or knee arthritis, most ankle arthritis is post traumatic. The commonest causes are following severe ankle fractures or recurrent severe ankle sprains. For some patients, an ankle replacement is the best option to reduce pain and improve quality of life.
What is an ankle replacement?
An ankle replacement procedure consists of replacing the worn out joint surfaces of the ankle with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued movement of the ankle. There are several different types of ankle replacement available.
An ankle replacement involves replacing the bone at the lower end of the tibia (shin bone) and replacing the top of the talus (ankle bone).
Ask your specialist about what ankle replacement they recommend and what the advantages and disadvantages of it are.