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Ankle Arthroplasty and Ankle Arthrodesis: Gait Analysis Compared with Normal Controls
Syndie Singer, BSc, MD, FRCS(C)1; Susan Klejman, MSc, PEng2; Ellie Pinsker, BA&Sc1; Jeff Houck, PT, PhD3; Tim Daniels, MD, FRCS(C)1
1 Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital, 55 Queen St. East, Suite 800, Toronto, ON M5C 1R6, Canada. E-mail address for T. Daniels: danielst@smh.ca
2 Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, 150 Kilgour Road, Toronto, ON M4G 1R8, Canada
3 Ithaca College, Rochester Campus, 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620
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  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Toronto, and St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Disclosure: One or more of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of an aspect of this work. In addition, one or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Dec 18;95(24):e191 1-10. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00465
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This study compared patients with isolated end-stage ankle osteoarthritis, after undergoing either total ankle arthroplasty or arthrodesis, using gait analysis and patient-reported outcome measures to elucidate differences between the two treatment options, as compared with a healthy control group.


Gait analyses were performed on patients with isolated ankle arthritis more than one year after undergoing either total ankle arthroplasty or arthrodesis during a ten-year period. Validated outcome questionnaire data were obtained. Seventeen patients undergoing total ankle arthroplasty, seventeen patients undergoing arthrodesis, and ten matched control subjects were included for comparison.


Patients who had undergone arthroplasty, when compared with patients who had undergone arthrodesis, demonstrated greater postoperative total sagittal plane motion (18.1° versus 13.7°; p < 0.05), dorsiflexion (11.9° versus 6.8°; p < 0.05), and range of tibial tilt (23.1° versus 19.1°; p < 0.05). Plantar flexion motion was not equivalent to normal in either group. Ankle moments and power in both treatment groups remained significantly lower compared with the control group (p < 0.05 between each treatment group and the control group for both variables). Gait patterns in both treatment groups were not completely normalized. Improvements in patient-reported Ankle Osteoarthritis Scale and Short Form-36 scores were similar for both treatment groups.


The gait patterns of patients following three-component, mobile-bearing total ankle arthroplasty more closely resembled normal gait when compared with the gait patterns of patients following arthrodesis. Dorsal motion in the sagittal plane was primarily responsible for the differences. Improvement in self-reported clinical outcome scores was similar for both groups. Further investigation is needed to determine why patients who have undergone total ankle arthroplasty do not use the plantar flexion motion in the terminal-stance phase and to explain the limited increase in power generation at toe-off after arthroplasty. Results obtained from this study may be used for future modifications of ankle prostheses and may add to clinicians’ ability to inform patients of predicted functional outcomes prior to the treatment of end-stage ankle osteoarthritis.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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