The ankle is a highly congruent joint with a surface area of 11-13 cm(2). Total ankle replacements have been attempted since the early 1970s and design has continually evolved as the early designs were a failure. This was because the stresses involved and the mutiaxial motion of the ankle has not been understood until recently. It has been shown that the talus slides as well as rolls during the ankle arc of motion from plantarflexion to dorsiflexion. Furthermore, the articular surfaces and the calcaneofibular and tibiocalcaneal ligaments have been shown to form a four bar linkage dictating ankle motion. A new design ankle replacement has been suggested recently which allows multiaxial motion at the ankle while maintaining congruency throughout the arc of motion. The early results of this ankle replacement have been encouraging without any reported failures due to mechanical loosening.
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