International Orthopaedics June 2012, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 1207–1214

Total ankle arthroplasty versus ankle arthrodesis. Comparison of sports, recreational activities and functional outcome

Schuh, R., Hofstaetter, J., Krismer, M. et al.


Ankle arthrodesis (AAD) and total ankle replacement (TAR) are the major surgical treatment options for severe ankle arthritis. There is an ongoing discussion in the orthopaedic community whether ankle arthrodesis or ankle fusion should be the treatment of choice for end stage osteoarthritis. The purpose of this study was to compare the participation in sports and recreational activities in patients who underwent either AAD or TAR for end-stage osteoarthritis of the ankle.


A total of 41 patients (21 ankle arthrodesis /20 TAR) were examined at 34.5 (SD18.0) months after surgery. At follow-up, pre- and postoperative participation in sports and recreational activities has been assessed. Activity levels were determined using the ankle activity score according to Halasi et al. and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) activity scale. Clinical and functional outcome was assessed using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot score. The percentage of patients participating in sports and recreational activities, UCLA score and AOFAS score were compared between both treatment groups.


In the AAD group 86% were active in sports preoperatively and in the TAR group this number was 76%. Postoperatively in both groups 76% were active in sports (AAD, p = 0.08). The UCLA score was 7.0 (± 1.9) in the AAD group and 6.8 (± 1.8) in the TAR group (p = 0.78). The AOFAS score reached 75.6 (± 14) in the AAD group and 75.6 (± 16) in the TAR group (p = 0.97). The ankle activity score decrease was statistically significant for both groups (p = 0.047).


Our study revealed no significant difference between the groups concerning activity levels, participation in sports activities, UCLA and AOFAS score. After AAD the number of patients participating in sports decreased. However, this change was not statistically significant.

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