What is S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement?
S.T.A.R.® stands for Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement and is an innovative and advanced ankle joint replacement procedure performed using the first and only 3-piece mobile bearing ankle implant approved for use in the United States.
Anatomy of the Ankle Joint
The ankle joint connects the leg with the foot and is composed of three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. The tibia or shinbone and fibula or calf bone are bones of the lower leg, which articulate with the talus bone in the hindfoot, enabling up and down movement of the foot.
Indications for S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement
S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement may be indicated when conservative treatments fail to resolve painful symptoms in the ankle caused by:
- Primary osteoarthritis
- Posttraumatic osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Failure of ankle joint fusion surgery
Preparation for S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement
Your doctor will assess your symptoms and perform an examination. Imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI or CT-scanning may be ordered. Inform your doctor about the medicines you are taking prior to the procedure, and if you are allergic to any medicines or anesthesia. Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery.
S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement Procedure
- Either general or regional anesthesia can be used for the surgery.
- A surgical incision is made on the skin over the ankle joint.
- The underlying soft tissues are separated using a retractor.
- Important nerves and tendons are identified and protected.
- The ends of the bones forming the joint surfaces are excised using special cutting guides.
- The ankle joint implant components are fitted in place.
- The implant components are trialed to ensure a full range of motion and stability.
- A drain tube may be inserted into the joint during surgery to drain blood from the incision, which is removed within 1-2 days after the surgery.
- The incision is closed in layers with sutures.
- The ankle will be immobilized with the help of splints and a bulky dressing.
Recovery after S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement
Swelling and discomfort can be managed with prescription pain medicines, applying ice packs, and by elevating your ankle above heart level while resting. Sutures are removed after 10-15 days and you should take care that the incision is kept clean and dry. You will be referred to physical therapy soon after surgery to maximize the range of motion of the new ankle. You can begin partial weight-bearing at 2-3 weeks and gradually progress to full weight-bearing using a boot in about 6 weeks.
Risks of S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement
As with any surgery, there are associated risks and complications that may occur. Those related to S.T.A.R.® ankle replacement may include:
- Anesthetic complications
- Loss of sensation
- Delayed healing or failure to heal
Benefits of S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement
The benefits of S.T.A.R.® Ankle Replacement are:
- Proven Effectiveness: S.T.A.R.® has the best published long-term survivorship of metal components in the US and Canada.
- Greater Flexibility: A single surgical technique allows for 225 patient-matched configurations.
- Well Supported: Case support, educational programs, and additional resources are provided to each and every patient.