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Zimmer, Inc.

Total Ankle Replacement


Why do I have Ankle Pain?

Total ankle replacement surgery (total ankle arthroplasty) is intended to provide limited mobility of the ankle, by reducing ankle pain and preserving the flexion/extension (up and down) movement within the ankle joint.

Zimmer provides a system to replace the articulating surfaces of the ankle that have been affected by disease or injury. With the Zimmer® Trabecular Metal Total Ankle replacement system, your surgeon has an option for restoring natural movement to the ankle joint.

Benefits of the lateral (side) approach to surgery

Unlike other ankle replacement surgery techniques which use an incision on the front of the ankle, this procedure uses an incision on the side of the ankle. That is why it is called a lateral (side) approach. In this approach, the lower portion of the fibula is surgically moved to the side to perform the procedure and is later repositioned with a metal plate.

Benefits to this approach to ankle surgery include:

  • Less disruption of nerves and soft tissues surrounding the ankle joint, which may speed up recovery and help restore a natural walking gait.1
  • The “side” view of your ankle joint during surgery allows your surgeon to see the joint better and is intended to help position the ankle replacement implant more precisely.
  • If you’ve already had surgery on your ankle from a previous injury, the surgeon may be able to use the existing incision on the side of your ankle instead of having to create a new one.1

Advancements in Ankle Implant Design

For decades, Zimmer has led the way with joint replacement innovations, and many are reflected in the Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle replacement implant:

  1. The Zimmer implant has a low-profile design that allows your surgeon to retain more of your natural bone than with many other implants. This is called bone sparing.1
  2. Components of the Zimmer implant work together to restore the natural movement of the ankle joint. This provides for integrated movement with muscles and tendons to help achieve a normal walking gait.1
  3. The Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle replacement system offers a number of sizing options, giving your surgeon the ability to choose the closest fit for your ankle anatomy.
  4. In ankle replacement surgery, the “bearing” material is the polyethylene surface that the metal components of the implant move against. Zimmer has developed a unique material that has shown to be resistant to wear.1 Prolong ® Highly Crosslinked Polyethylene has been used for many years in other joint implants and is intended to provide durability in the replacement ankle joint.2
  5. Zimmer’s advanced implant material, Trabecular Metal Material, is not a coating but rather an advanced 3-dimensional structure that closely resembles the porous structure of natural cancellous (“spongy”) bone.3


For more information

To learn more about Zimmer joint replacements, obtain helpful information for patients and caregivers, or for assistance in finding a surgeon familiar with our products and surgical techniques, call toll free: 800-447-5633


  1. Data on file at Zimmer
  2. Gsell R, Yao JQ, Laurent MP, Crowninshield RD: Improved oxidation resistance of highly crosslinked UHMWPE for total knee arthroplasty. Society for Biomaterials 27th Annual Meeting Transactions, 84, 2001.
  3. Bobyn JD, Hacking SA, Chan SP, Toh KK, Krygier JJ, Tanzer M. Characterization of a new porous tantalum biomaterial for reconstructive orthopaedics. Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons edition. Anaheim, CA; 1999.