An ankle replacement is designed to treat painful conditions of the ankle, like osteoarthritis, arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes arthritis can be treated without surgery, such as taking pain medication, using cortisone injections, avoiding painful activities and/or using a specialized ankle brace. If these options don’t work, surgery may be an option.
The orthopaedic surgeons at Grand View Health use the STARTM Ankle System—Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement—named for a well-known Scandinavian surgeon who designed the device. The STAR Ankle System replaces the ankle joint with a three-part prosthetic device that mimics the movement of the ankle.
Your procedure will be performed at The Joint Center at Grand View Health—a unit that’s dedicated to just joint replacement patients. Our respected team of highly trained board-certified orthopaedic surgeons from Upper Bucks Orthopaedics at Grand View Health work with specially trained nurses, therapists and technicians who will help you get back to your favorite activities as quickly as possible.
Our state-of-the-art technology means a quicker recovery, increased mobility and excellent outcomes for our patients. And with improvements in surgical techniques, pain management and pre- and post-op care, it’s now common for most patients to go home from the hospital after just one or two days.
Ankle replacement may be considered for those suffering from arthritic ankle pain that severely limits the activities of daily living. It is only recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures such as exercise, physical therapy and medications have proven ineffective.
The clinical investigation of the STAR Ankle was limited to patients weighing no more than 250 pounds.
Currently, there are several ankle replacements available in the U.S. The STAR Ankle System differs from other ankle replacements because it uses a mobile bearing, which helps to maintain the normal motion of the ankle, versus a fixed bearing. The STAR Ankle also does not require the use of bone cement during implantation. The materials that the STAR ankle is made of have been used in artificial hips and knees for many years. They have shown to be extremely well accepted by the body.
Most patients are in the hospital for one to two days.
Every person’s healing experience will be different and it’s important to follow the specific advice of your surgeon. In general the first two weeks after surgery you will be in a cast and will not be able to bear any weight on your ankle. You will need to keep your ankle elevated as much as possible and limit your activities. After the first two weeks, your cast will be changed to a removable cast brace, but you will remain non-weight bearing. After about seven weeks, you will be allowed to begin gradually increasing weight bearing activities while continuing to wear the cast brace.
Like other joint implants, the STAR Ankle will wear with time and may need a replacement part, may need to be replaced, or your ankle joint may need to be fused. If you are overweight, smoking or take part in activities that put stress on your ankle, the life span of the STAR Ankle may be shorter.
For the first two weeks after surgery it is normal to have a moderate amount of pain and you may need to use pain medications. This pain will slowly decrease over time, but it is not unusual to experience some discomfort for up to three months. Swelling is not uncommon and may continue for up to a year after surgery.