The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 12 , 3694 - 3698.e1

Association Between Knee Malalignment and Ankle Degeneration in Patients With End-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis

Xie, Kai et al.


The association between knee malalignment and ankle degeneration has not been well established. This study aimed at determining whether knee malalignment and compensatory ankle morphology to knee malalignment are associated with the development and progression of ankle osteoarthritis (OA) in patients with end-stage knee OA.


We retrospectively reviewed 96 patients (106 knees) who underwent total knee arthroplasty. The progression of ankle OA, knee alignment, and ankle morphology were evaluated based on digital radiographs. Alignment deformity of the lower extremity was evaluated with hip-knee-ankle angle and medial proximal tibial angle (MPTA). Ankle morphology was evaluated by the lateral distal tibial angle, talar tilt, tibial plafond inclination angle, and ankle joint line orientation angle.


The incidence of radiological ankle OA was observed in 39 of 106 cases. The MPTA (odds ratio = 0.72, P = .0009) and hip-knee-ankle angle (odds ratio = 1.13, P = .0169) were significantly associated with ankle OA. Among patients with tibial varus deformity, 26 of 49 had ankle OA. Among patients with neutral tibial alignment, 13 of 57 had radiological findings of ankle OA. MPTA was the only parameter associated with the progression of ankle OA. No association was observed between compensatory change in ankle morphology and the severity of ankle OA.


Tibial varus deformity is associated with the development and progression of ankle OA; however, it is unclear whether it causes ankle OA. Due to the high incidence of ankle OA in total knee arthroplasty patients, it is reasonable to consider routine evaluation of the ankle.

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