Someone recently asked me about the size of the implant that was used in my ankle. So I asked my surgeon if he remembered or knew. He said that he didn't know, but that if he had to guess, it was probably a small size. He also said that the decision on which size implant to use is made when the patient is on the table.
My implant is the STAR implant--Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement. At the moment, it's the top of the line, most advanced ankle in the world. It's a 3 part system...2 metal parts go into the bones and there is a plastic part (that you really can't see on the x-ray unless you look really hard and see what looks like a thin pin) that acts like the cartilage. He said that the 2 metal parts come in 6 different sizes and the plastic part comes in 8-10 sizes...so the entire thing is very custom. I'm like a custom built Buick :) The nice thing about the three part system is that if one of the parts starts to wear, it can be replaced without the others having to be touched.
I asked if the plastic part was the most likely piece to wear first because it acts like cartilage...he said yes. And get this...he said that it's a 5 minute procedure to replace that part because he's just making an incision large enough to pop out the old part and put in the new one. I wonder if they even need to put you under general anesthesia for that? The way he explained it, it sounded easier than when I had root canal! Have I ever mentioned my hatred for all things dentist related?
To read about my full ankle replacement journey, please click here.