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Medium-term results for total ankle replacement (TAR) are in general satisfactory, but there is a high redo rate for periprosthetic osteolysis associated with the AES implant.
Comparing radioclinical findings and histologic analysis of implant revision procedure specimens can account for the elevated rate of osteolysis associated with the AES TAR implant.
Material and method
In a prospective series of 84 AES TAR implants (2003–2008), 25 underwent revision for osteolysis (including three undergoing revision twice) at a mean 59.8months. Eight patients had hydroxyapatite (HA) coated models and the others had titanium-hydroxyapatite (Ti-HA) coatings. Radiographs were systematically analyzed on Besse's protocol and evolution was monitored on AOFAS scores. The 94 specimens taken for histologic analysis during revision were re-examined, focusing specifically on foreign bodies.
Macroscopically, no metallosis or polyethylene wear was found at revision. AOFAS global and pain scores fell respectively from 89.7/100 at 1year postoperatively to 72.9 before revision and from 32.5/40 to 20.6/40, although global scores were unchanged in 25% of patients. Radiologically, all patients showed tibial and talar osteolytic lesions, 45% showed cortical lysis and in 25% the implant had collapsed into the cysts. All specimens showed macrophagic granulomatous inflammatory reactions in contact with a foreign body; the cysts showed necrotic remodeling. Some of the foreign bodies could be identified on optical histologic examination with polyethylene in 95% of the specimens and metal in 60% (100% of HA-coated models and 33.3% of Ti-HA-coated models). Unidentifiable material was associated: a brownish pigment in Ti-HA-coated models (33.3%) and flakey bodies in 44.4% of the HA-coated models and 18.2% of the Ti-HA-coated models.
The phenomenon of periprosthetic osteolysis is still poorly understood, although implant wear debris seems to be implicated. All the patients with HA-coated implants with modular tibial stem had metal particles in the tissue around the implant, although their exact nature could not be determined. The double-layer Ti-HA coating may induce delamination by fretting while the biological bone anchorage is forming.
Level of evidence: Prospective cohort study – Level IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Total ankle arthroplasty, Periprosthetic osteolysis, Histology