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Effective Alternative Treatments Available for Chronic Ankle Disability

  • Published: 2010-06-02 : Author: American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • Synopsis: Total ankle replacement surgery is a safe and effective treatment option for select patients with end-stage ankle arthritis.

Main Document

Advances in surgical options for end-stage ankle arthritis have prompted the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) to issue a position statement on the use of total ankle replacement surgery as an option for some patients with painful arthritis.

According to ACFAS, total ankle replacement surgery is a safe and effective treatment option for select patients with end-stage ankle arthritis, a leading cause of chronic disability in North America. Studies have shown that total ankle replacement surgery in which the ankle joint is replaced with an artificial joint, can improve patient function, reduce pain and improve the quality of life for patients.

Previously, the most often selected option for patients with end-stage ankle arthritis has been ankle fusion, which involves surgically fusing bones together in order to eliminate painful motion. While ankle fusion is still a successful option for relieving the pain of the disease within the joint, a new generation of implant designs and surgical techniques has provided patients with an additional viable option for treatment.

ACFAS surgeons note that not every patient with severe arthritic disease of the ankle is a candidate for total ankle replacement surgery. A qualified foot and ankle surgeon with specific training and experience in total ankle replacement surgery can make that determination based on the individual patient's case.

The ACFAS position statement on total ankle replacement surgery is available at For more information on foot and ankle arthritis, visit

The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons is a professional society of over 6,000 foot and ankle surgeons. Founded in 1942, the College's mission is to promote research and provide continuing education for the foot and ankle surgical specialty, and to educate the general public on foot health and conditions of the foot and ankle through its consumer website,

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