Your feet and ankles are extremely complex, with 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles, 5 tendons, plus nerves and blood vessels. The large Achilles tendon extends from the calf muscles to the heel bone (calcaneus), and allows running, jumping, walking upstairs, and raising the body onto the toes. Ligaments attach bone to bone and are the stabilizers of the foot and ankle. The longest ligament is the Plantar fascia which forms the arch on the sole of the foot from the heel to the toes.
The ankle joint is formed by the connection of 3 bones. The top of the ankle bone (talus) fits inside a socket that is formed by the lower end of the tibia (shin bone) and fibula. The Talus works like a hinge to allow your foot to move up and down. Fortunately, the ankle joint is designed to be strong and sturdy. It must withstand 1.5 times your body weight when you walk and up to 8 times your body weight when you run (www.eOrthopod.com).
As weight-bearing structures, the feet and ankles are susceptible to all types of acute or chronic injures. People with severe ankle pain from arthritis may be candidates for a total ankle replacement surgery (also called “TAR” or “ankle arthroplasty”). Ankle replacement surgery is designed to relieve pain and preserve motion in the arthritic ankle joint, by replacing the arthritic joint with a metal prosthesis. This differs from another popular, but older procedure called ankle fusion (or “ankle arthrodesis”) referring to the bones growing together. Ankle fusion can also alleviate pain; however, this procedure eliminates motion in the joint.
Dr. Roster and Dr. Jarrett are passionate about the foot and ankle, and want to see their patients get their quality of life back. It is important to remember that patient selection and proper placement of the implant are key to an ideal outcome. Call(406)721-4436 to make an appointment and see what treatment options are best for you and your condition.