Most published reports related to total ankle arthroplasty have a fair to poor-quality level of evidence.
Comparative studies with a fair to good-quality level of evidence suggest that total ankle arthroplasty provides equal pain relief and possibly improved function compared with ankle arthrodesis.
On the basis of the current literature, survivorship of total ankle arthroplasty implants, when measured as the retention of metal components, ranges from 70% to 98% at three to six years and from 80% to 95% at eight to twelve years.
Several investigators have argued that, in the evolution of total ankle arthroplasty, some obligatory reoperation without removal of the metal implants is anticipated; examples of reoperation include relief of osseous or soft-tissue impingement, improvement of alignment or stability of the foot and ankle, bone-grafting for cystic lesions, and/or polyethylene exchange.
A successful return to low-impact, recreational sporting activities is possible after total ankle arthroplasty.
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Box 2950, Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail address for M.E. Easley: firstname.lastname@example.org
2Box 3000, DUMC, Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710