Total Ankle replacements (TAR) are on the cutting edge of surgical technology. Painful ankles secondary to rheumatoid, post traumatic, or degenerative arthritis are all possible candidates for a TAR. Traditionally, ankle fusions were the only option for painful ankle joint arthritis. Ankle fusions are reproducible procedures that work well but are not without their drawbacks. Long recovery times, adjacent joint arthritis and the inability to move the ankle are the most common complaints associated with ankle fusions. TARs provide patients with the ability to have their ankle arthritis removed and the ankle joint resurfaced. During the procedure, both the top and bottom portions of the ankle are replaced by a sturdy press fit metallic covering with a polymer that floats in between, recreating the ankle joints natural range of motion. This allows patients to maintain their range of motion at the ankle joint and recover much faster than with an ankle fusion. Additionally, because of the maintained motion at the ankle joint, adjacent joints are not adversely affected, and therefore the risk of needing addition fusions is minimized. Dr. Bret Brennan is one of only a handful of surgeons in southwest Florida certified to perform a TAR. During your consultation he will discuss with you the positive and negatives of both TAR and ankle fusions and make an individualized decision about what will be best for you!