Wright Medical Group

Why Choose Replacement Over Fusion?

When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief from chronic, severe ankle arthritis pain, it’s time to consider surgery.

Ankle Fusion

For years, ankle fusion (“arthrodesis”) was about the only treatment option for patients suffering with end-stage ankle arthritis. Ankle fusion eliminates the joint to relieve pain, but it also has disadvantages:

  • Eliminates range of motion
  • Results in an abnormal gait (walking)
  • Increases long-term risk of arthritis developing in adjacent hindfoot joints

Researchers confirm that ankle replacement can produce:

As ankle replacements become more common, researchers are able to compare outcomes for patients with ankle fusions to those with ankle replacements.

A significantly higher rate of readmission and wound infection rate in ankle fusion patients compared to ankle replacement patients
Soohoo, “Trends in Complication Rates Following Ankle Arthrodesis and Total Ankle Arthroplasty” – Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
A significantly higher rate of reoperation for subtalar fusion among ankle fusion patients (2.8%) than with ankle replacement patients (0.7%)
Soohoo, “Comparison of Reoperation Rates Following Ankle Arthrodesis and Total Ankle Arthroplasty” – Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
A lower level of patient satisfaction among ankle fusion patients compared to ankle replacement patients

Ankle Replacement

With Total Ankle Replacement, “arthroplasty,” the physician replaces the damaged joint with an implant. The new, artificial joint can relieve pain and closely mimic the natural movement of a healthy ankle. Patients with Total Ankle Replacement typically are able to walk, pain-free, with a normal gait within a year of surgery. Watch the gait of ankle replacement patients, post-op.
In recent years, an increasing number of ankle specialists are beginning to adopt and recommend ankle replacements rather than fusions.
Click to watch a product animation

SKU: 010376 – INFINITY Total Ankle System

Which approach is right for you?

Only a physician can determine if you are a candidate for ankle replacement.  You and your physician must consider several factors when choosing a surgical solution. These include your unique anatomy, age, health, weight, history of activity, and more.

Consult with your physician and he/she will determine what treatment plan is best for you.

NOTE: The number of ankle replacement surgeries, and who performs them, continues to grow. More and more foot and ankle physicians are utilizing total ankle replacement confidently to alleviate their patient’s pain and to restore mobility.  If your physician isn’t familiar with Total Ankle Replacement, use our physician locator to find a physician who is.

Alexandra I. Stavrakis, MD, and Nelson F. SooHoo, MD
Trends in Complication Rates Following Ankle Arthrodesis and
Total Ankle Replacement
Copyright (C) 2016 By the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated

 

During ankle replacement surgery, the physician covers the tibia with a metal tibial tray. Next, a metal talar dome covers the talus. Surgical bone cement holds the components in place. A plastic liner placed between the tray and the dome enables the hinge-like motion of a healthy ankle. Typically, no additional hardware is required for fixation and no grafting is necessary.

Because no two ankles are exactly alike, we’ve designed our Total Ankle Systems to offer your surgeon options to customize your fit and increase your satisfaction.

Click to watch a product animation

SKU: 010010 – INBONE II Total Ankle System

Click to watch a product animation

SKU: 010376 – INFINITY Total Ankle System

 

Patients with Total Ankle Replacement typically are able to walk, pain-free, with a normal gait within a year of surgery. Watch the gait of ankle replacement patients, after surgery.

If you are not a good candidate for an ankle replacement, your physician may recommend ankle fusion. During ankle fusion surgery, the physician prepares the bones’ surfaces and joints. Then the physician secures them together using plates, screws or external fixation. The physician typically adds a bone graft (harvested from the patient’s hip or leg) to promote bone regrowth. After the bones have fused together, the hardware may be removed.

There are risks associated with harvesting a bone graft. That’s why Wright Medical developed AUGMENT® Injectable and AUGMENT® Bone Graft. These are the first and only synthetic bone grafting materials approved for foot and ankle fusions by the FDA. In the largest foot and ankle clinical trial ever conducted, AUGMENT® Bone Graft performed comparably to grafts using the patient’s own bone. More importantly, AUGMENT® Bone Graft eliminates the costs and the risks that come with an additional surgical procedure to harvest bone. Learn more about AUGMENT® Regenerative Solutions here.

DiGiovanni CW, et al. Recombinant Human Platelet-Derived Growth Factor-BB and Beta-Tricalcium Phosphate (rhPDGF-BB/β-TCP): An Alternative to Autogenous Bone Graft. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2013 Jul
DiGiovanni CW, Lin S, Pinzur M. Recombinant human PDGF-BB in foot and ankle fusion. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2012 Mar; 9(2):111-22.
FDA did not base its approval of AUGMENT® Bone Graft on radiologic findings from the pivotal study, but instead relied on clinical outcomes.