Ankle arthritis differs from that of the hip and knee in that it is most commonly caused
by traumatic injury (rather than degeneration or inflammation) and predominantly
affects younger males.
â€¢ Ankle fusion is a well-established treatment that can improve pain but does so at a loss
of motion of the ankle. It doesnâ€™t work well when there is also arthritis in the nearby
joints, because it puts extra load on these joints.
â€¢ Altered gait after ankle fusion can lead to arthritis in the surrounding small joints over
â€¢ The role of ankle replacement, while common in Europe, is limited in the US because of
uncertainty of its effectiveness relative to ankle fusion.
â€¢ UW Medicine faculty surgeons have been treating patients with ankle replacement
surgery since 1995. Initially, total ankle joint replacement was used primarily in
patients who were not good candidates for fusion.
â€¢ To enable a comparison of outcomes from ankle replacement and ankle fusion we
initiated a study in 2006 that compares activity and patient satisfaction after these two
BRUCE J. SANGEORZAN, M.D. et al 2009 ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH REPORT p66