Ankle arthritis, though far less common than hip or knee arthritis, is quite debilitating.
The native ankle joint, with its configuration and thicker cartilage will last you your whole life....the ankle is not a “wear and tear” joint.
But arthritis will develop if there has been trauma to the ankle, such as with recurrent ankle sprains or with certain types of fractures, and in those who have systematic or inflammatory arthritis.
Yet, what has made the ankle configuration able to withstand stress, has also contributed to the historic difficulty with replacing it. But we have cross a threshold; implants are better made to withstand the forces of the ankle. And no longer am I telling patients that an ankle fusion is a better surgery to treat the pain and dysfunction of ankle arthritis.