The benefit of ankle arthroplasty compared to arthrodesis continues to be debated, but the quality of life after these two interventions has rarely been assessed. We conducted a case-control study to compare quality of life and functional and athletic ability.
Functional results, athletic ability, and quality of life after total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) are better than after ankle arthrodesis.
Material and methods
Two continuous series of 59 TAAs and 46 arthrodeses (operated on between 1997 and 2009) were evaluated retrospectively using a questionnaire including the functional items of the AOFAS score, the Foot Function Index (FFI) score, the Foot Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), and the SF-36.
Eighty-three responses (79% of the overall series) were matched in two groups: 32 TAAs [age at the intervention, 51.4years (range, 21–63years); follow-up, 52.2months (range, 30–146months); age at revision, 55.8years (range, 26–67years); BMI, 27.7 (range, 21.7–36.7)] and 22 arthrodeses [age at intervention, 50.1years (range, 24–72years); follow-up 57.9months (range, 12–147months); age at revision 54.9 years (range, 31–75years); BMI, 26.8 (range, 17.6–37)] (NS on all items between the two groups). The pain results were better after TAA, but with no statistically significant difference: AOFAS pain, (/40) 28.1±8.2 vs. 24.5±9.6; FFI pain, 16.6±18.8 vs. 24.3±21.5. The overall FFI score (/100) was better (P=0.048) after TAA (16.2±16.5 vs. 24.8±18.2). The overall mean athletic level compared to the state prior to the injury was relatively low in both groups, but significantly (p=0.007) higher in the TAA group: FAAM sports score (/100), 49.5±24.4 vs. 29.8±26.2. The quality-of-life scores, SF-36 physical health, mental health, and general health were not significantly different after TAA and arthrodesis: mental health score, 63.1±14.7 vs. 57.8±21.5; physical health score, 61.3±17.8 vs. 53.7±23.9, overall score, 63.2±16.4 vs. 55.9±23.5.
Very few publications describe activities and quality of life after TAA and arthrodesis. Despite weaknesses, this comparative study demonstrates a tendency toward better functional results after TAA than after ankle arthrodesis, without the difference between the two groups being very significant. On the other hand, there was no difference in terms of quality of life. After the doubts raised by publications on severe periprosthetic osteolysis at the intermediate term with certain TAA models, these results encourage pursuit of implantation and development of TAA.
Level of proof
Comparative retrospective. Level III study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Total ankle arthroplasty, Ankle arthrodesis, Quality of life, Functional results