Bone Joint J 2015;97-B:950–6.

Functional and radiological outcome of periprosthetic fractures of the ankle

S. Tsitsilonis, K. D. Schaser, F. Wichlas, N. P. Haas, S. Manegold

The incidence of periprosthetic fractures of the ankle is increasing. However, little is known about the outcome of treatment and their management remains controversial. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of periprosthetic fractures on the functional and radiological outcome of patients with a total ankle arthroplasty (TAA).


A total of 505 TAAs (488 patients) who underwent TAA were retrospectively evaluated for periprosthetic ankle fracture: these were then classified according to a recent classification which is orientated towards treatment. The outcome was evaluated clinically using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score and a visual analogue scale for pain, and radiologically.


A total of 21 patients with a periprosthetic fracture of the ankle were identified. There were 13 women and eight men. The mean age of the patients was 63 years (48 to 74). Thus, the incidence of fracture was 4.17%.


There were 11 intra-operative and ten post-operative fractures, of which eight were stress fractures and two were traumatic. The prosthesis was stable in all patients. Five stress fractures were treated conservatively and the remaining three were treated operatively.


A total of 17 patients (81%) were examined clinically and radiologically at a mean follow-up of 53.5 months (12 to 112). The mean AOFAS score at follow-up was 79.5 (21 to 100). The mean AOFAS score in those with an intra-operative fracture was 87.6 (80 to 100) and for those with a stress fracture, which were mainly because of varus malpositioning, was 67.3 (21 to 93). Periprosthetic fractures of the ankle do not necessarily adversely affect the clinical outcome, provided that a treatment algorithm is implemented with the help of a new classification system.

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