Ankle Replacement

The Largest Ankle Replacement Program in West Michigan

Each year, an estimated 50,000 people experience end-stage ankle arthritis. “End stage” means ankle cartilage has worn away completely, causing painful bone-on-bone contact and some level of disability. At this stage, ankle replacement may be considered.

There are three main surgical treatment options, in addition to many non-surgical treatments, for ankle arthritis.
  • Arthroscopic surgery can usually help in the early stages of arthritis. During this procedure, a small instrument about the size of a pencil, called an arthroscope, is inserted into the joint. A surgeon can then view the inside of the joint on a monitor. Using tiny forceps, knives and shavers, the surgeon can clean out the joint area, removing any foreign tissues or bone spurs present in the joint
  • Ankle fusion involves removing the ankle joint and fusing together the fibula (calf bone), tibia (shin bone) and talus (foot bone) with rods, pins, screws and plates. After healing, the bones remain fused together.
  • Total ankle replacement, (ankle arthroplasty), is usually reserved for cases of severe, late-stage ankle arthritis. The worn out joint surfaces of the end of the shin bone (tibia) and the top of the ankle bone (talus) are removed. A metal and plastic implant is put in place to act as the new joint.