What is INFINITY™ Total Ankle System?
INFINITY™ Total Ankle System is a state-of-the-art ankle replacement system used for the treatment of various types of ankle arthritis in which the damaged or worn out articulating surfaces of the ankle joints are removed and replaced with high quality implants of INFINITY™ total ankle system.
The INFINITY™ total ankle system comprises of a titanium alloy tibial tray, an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene insert, and an extremely polished metal talar dome. All implant components are available in several varying sizes to best match the ankle anatomy of the patient.
Some of the advantages of INFINITY™ total ankle implant system includes:
- Talar component interchangeability
- Resurfacing talar component designed for full fluoroscopic visualization
- Low-profile tibial implant design
- Optimized for high accuracy and efficiency
- Designed for optimal longevity
- Less invasive for surrounding joints
- Shortened procedure time
- Reduced overall bone loss
- Compatible with PROPHECY™ Pre-Operative Navigation Alignment technology which allows for precise sizing, alignment, and placement of ankle components during surgery
Anatomy of the Ankle Joint
The ankle joint connects the leg to the foot, and comprises three bones: the tibia, fibula, and talus. The tibia (shinbone) and fibula (calf bone) are the bones of the lower leg that articulate with the talus (ankle bone), enabling up-and-down movement of the foot. The joint surfaces of all these bones are lined by a thin, tough, flexible, and slippery surface called the articular cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber to cushion and reduce friction between the bones.
Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint as a result of degeneration of the smooth cartilage that lines the ends of the bones within. This degeneration of cartilage causes painful rubbing of the bones, leading to swelling, joint stiffness, and restricted movement.
Indications for INFINITY™ Total Ankle System
INFINITY™ total ankle system may be indicated when conservative treatments such as medications, injections, or physical therapy fail to resolve painful symptoms in the ankle caused by:
- Primary osteoarthritis
- Posttraumatic osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Failed previous ankle surgery
Preparation for INFINITY™ Total Ankle System
Preoperative preparation involved in the placement of INFINITY™ total ankle system may involve the following steps:
- A thorough examination is performed by your doctor to check for any medical issues that need to be addressed prior to surgery.
- Depending on your medical history, social history, and age, you may need to undergo tests such as blood work and imaging to help detect any abnormalities that could compromise the safety of the procedure.
- You will be asked if you have allergies to medications, anesthesia, or latex.
- You should inform your doctor of any medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking.
- You may be asked to refrain from supplements or medications such as blood-thinners or anti-inflammatories for a week or two prior to surgery.
- You should refrain from alcohol or tobacco at least a few days prior to surgery.
- You should not consume any solids or liquids at least 8 hours prior to surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery, as you may be groggy.
- A written consent will be obtained from you after the surgical procedure has been explained in detail.
Procedure for INFINITY™ Total Ankle System
The surgery for placement of INFINITY™ total ankle system is usually performed under general anesthesia and may involve the following steps:
- 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 damaged ends of the bones forming the joint surfaces are excised using special cutting guides enabled from PROPHECY™ technology.
- The INFINITY™ total ankle joint implant components are then fitted in place.
- The implant components are checked 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 to 2 days after the surgery.
- The incision over the treatment area is closed in layers with sutures.
- Finally, the ankle is immobilized with the help of splints and a bulky dressing.
Postoperative Care and Recovery
In general, postoperative care instructions and recovery after INFINITY™ total ankle system placement will involve the following steps:
- You will be transferred to the recovery area where your nurse will closely observe you for any allergic/anesthetic reactions and monitor your vital signs as you recover.
- You may notice some pain, swelling, and discomfort in the foot area. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are provided as needed.
- Antibiotics are also prescribed to address the risk of surgery-related infection.
- Do not weight-bear on the operated leg. A walking boot or a non-weight-bearing cast is recommended for few weeks to facilitate healing and support the foot.
- Assistive devices such as crutches and walkers are recommended to maintain balance and stability while walking for several weeks.
- Keep the foot elevated at or above the level of your heart for a specified period to help minimize swelling and discomfort.
- Start rehabilitation (physical therapy) as recommended by your surgeon to improve range of motion. You should begin exercises to stretch and strengthen the foot muscles.
- Eating a healthy diet and refraining from smoking helps to promote faster healing.
- Keep the surgical site clean and dry. Instructions on surgical site care and bathing will be provided.
- Refrain from strenuous activities and lifting heavy weights for at least 6 months. Gradual increase in activities over a period of time is recommended.
- A periodic follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your progress.
Risks and Complications
INFINITY™ total ankle system placement is a relatively safe procedure; however, as with any surgery, some risks and complications may occur, such as the following:
- Failure to relieve pain
- Damage to nerves and vessels
- Thromboembolism or blood clots
- Aseptic loosening of the prostheses
- Delayed healing or failure to heal