The diagnostic and therapeutic options for ankle arthritis are reviewed. The current standard of care for nonoperative options include the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, orthotics, and ankle braces. Other modalities lack high-quality research studies to delineate their appropriateness and effectiveness. The gold standard for operative intervention in end-stage degenerative arthritis remains arthrodesis, but evidence for the superiority in functional outcomes of total ankle arthroplasty is increasing. The next few years will enable more informed decisions and, with more prospective high-quality studies, the most appropriate patient population for total ankle arthroplasty can be identified.
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