FAI May 2021: Long-term Functional Results of Total Ankle Arthroplasty in Stiff Ankles

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Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is advocated over ankle arthrodesis to preserve ankle motion (ROM). Clinical and gait analysis studies have shown significant improvement after TAA. The role and outcomes of TAA in stiff ankles, which have little motion to be preserved, has been the subject of limited investigation. This investigation evaluated the mid- to long-term functional outcomes of TAA in stiff ankles.

In conclusion, preoperative ROM was predictive of overall postoperative gait function at an average of 7.6 (range 5-13) years. Although greater preoperative sagittal ROM predicted greater postoperative ROM, the stiffest ankles showed the greatest percentage increase in ROM. Patients with the stiffest ankles had the greatest absolute and relative improvements in objective function after TAA, as measured by multiple gait parameters. At intermediate- to long-term follow-up, patients with stiff ankles maintained significant functional improvements after TAA.

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