Total Ankle Joint Replacement (STAR Mobile-Bearing)


This surgical procedure is performed to remove portions of the ankle that are diseased or severely injured and to implant a device that will help manage pain and restore mobility to the ankle.

STAR™ Implant

The STAR™ mobile-bearing implant is a cementless implant made of three parts: a metal talus component, a metal tibia component, and a polyethylene insert, called the mobile bearing, which fits between them. The mobile bearing allows the parts of the implant to move and glide against each other smoothly.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and anesthetized. The surgeon creates an incision in the front of the ankle to access the joint.

Reshaping the Bones

The surgeon carefully reshapes the end of the tibia and the top of the talus to provide a stable surface for the implant. Special cutting guides are used during this part of the procedure to ensure the exact fit of the STAR™ device.

Inserting the Implant

The surgeon inserts the talar component and seats it on the talus, and then inserts the tibial component and fits it snugly into the prepared end of the tibia. Once these pieces are in place, the surgeon selects the appropriately-sized mobile bearing component and places it between the tibial and talar components to complete the joint. The surgeon performs a series of range-of-motion tests to ensure that implant is well positioned and is functioning properly.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the incision is closed with sutures or surgical staples and the ankle is bandaged and placed in a splint. A hospital stay one to three days after the surgery may be required. The splint is removed several days after surgery to allow movement of the ankle for therapy exercises. Full weight is typically not applied to the foot for at least six weeks. An ankle support may be required for up to one year after the surgery.


Once an ankle has been successfully replaced, the patient will likely have to follow up with the surgeon on an occasional basis to monitor the implant. The polyethelene-based mobile bearing can wear out over time and may need to be replaced to ensure the STAR™ continues to function properly for many years.