FAI May 2020: Mobility Limitation After Surgery for Degenerative Pathology of the Ankle, Hindfoot, and Midfoot vs Total Hip Arthroplasty

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Surgery for degenerative foot and ankle conditions often results in a lengthy recovery. Current outcome measures do not accurately assess postoperative mobility, especially in older patients. The Life-Space Assessment (LSA), a questionnaire quantifying patients’ mobility after a medical event, was used in this study to assess perioperative mobility in total hip arthroplasty (THA) and foot and ankle surgery patients. We hypothesized that patients undergoing elective foot and ankle surgery would have greater postoperative mobility limitation than THA patients.

Compared with THA, recovery of mobility after foot and ankle surgery was slower. THA patients exhibited improved mobility as early as 3 months after surgery, whereas foot and ankle patients did not show full improvement until 12 months. This work will assist the foot and ankle specialist in educating patients about challenges in mobility during their recovery from surgery.

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