According to Alan Davis, MD, orthopedic surgeon from the Cleveland Clinic, when patients present with end-stage bone-on-bone arthritis, surgeons have 2 choices. Ankle fusion (arthrodesis) is recommended for patients who are younger or have large deformities, poor bone stock, or inadequate ligament or tendon function. The other option is total ankle arthroplasty. This option is for patients who have not had success with conservative treatment of ankle arthritis, have good bone stock, retain reasonable range of motion and good tendon/ligament function, and have no serious deformity below the ankle.
The Clinic is now using pre-operative 3D scanning to create 3D-printed surgical guides, customized to each patient; these help ensure tailored sizing and alignment during the procedure. As a result, according to Davis, they have seen higher success rates and greater longevity of ankle replacements.
Source: Davis A. When Is Total Ankle Replacement the Best Treatment Option? Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Consult QD Blog. Published Oct. 25, 2021. Available at https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/when-is-total-ankle-replacement-the-best-treatment-option/. Accessed Dec. 15, 2021.