An ankle replacement or total ankle replacement surgery (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure that replaces a damaged ankle joint with an artificial implant. The new ankle replacement consists of metal implants with a plastic spacer in between. The ankle joint is located between your shin bone and the top of your ankle (talus) bone. Cartilage in the joint can wear away due to osteoarthritis, injury, or an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Cartilage lines the end of the bone, creating the joint. When this wears away, it can create pain, swelling and inflammation because the bones rub on each other instead of the intended surface, the cartilage. This bone-on-bone condition causes pain and eventually the loss of mobility. Our physicians, serving patients in Vail Colorado and the surrounding mountain ranges has extensive experience in performing ankle replacements or ankle arthroplasty.