Clinical and Radiological Outcomes of Transfibular Total Ankle Arthroplasty

Federico G. Usuelli, Camilla Maccario, Francesco Granata, Cristian Indino, Venus Vakhshori, Eric W. Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Ankle arthritis is a highly limiting pathology that causes pain and functional limitation with subsequent deterioration of quality of life. With recent advances in surgical instrumentation and techniques, prosthetic replacement of the ankle has proven to be a valid alternative to arthrodesis with comparable outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical and radiological findings in a transfibular total ankle replacement with follow-up of at least 2 years. Methods: This prospective study included 89 patients who underwent transfibular total ankle arthroplasty from May 2013 to February 2016. The mean age was 53.2 ± 13.5 years. All patients were followed for at least 24 months postoperatively with an average follow-up of 42.0 ± 23.5 months. Patients were assessed clinically and radiographically preoperatively and at 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Results: At 24 months postoperatively, patients demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle Hindfoot Score from 33.8 ± 14.3 to 88.5 ± 6.6 (P <.001), visual analog scale (VAS) from 80.5 ± 17.0 to 14.1 ± 9.2 (P <.001), and Short Form-12 Physical and Mental Composite Scores from 29.9 ± 6.7 and 43.3 ± 8.6 to 47.0 ± 7.6 and 53.3 ± 8.1, respectively (P <.001). In addition, ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion improved from 6.2 ± 5.5 and 9.6 ± 5.8 degrees to 24.2 ± 7.9 and 18.1 ± 7.6 degrees, respectively (P <.001). Radiographically, patients demonstrated maintained neutral alignment of the ankle at 24 months. No patient demonstrated any radiographic evidence of tibial or talar lucency at final follow-up. Seven patients underwent reoperation for removal of symptomatic hardware (6 fibular plates, 1 syndesmotic screw); 2 patients experienced delayed wound healing. The first one was treated with plate removal and flap coverage. The second one required fibular plate removal. One patient developed a postoperative prosthetic infection requiring operative debridement, removal of implants, and placement of an antibiotic spacer. Conclusion: This study found that transfibular total ankle replacement was a safe and effective option for patients with ankle arthritis resulting in improvements in patient-reported outcomes, range of motion, and radiographic parameters. However, further studies are required to determine the mid- and long-term performance of these implants. Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • ankle arthritis
  • fixed bearing
  • lateral approach
  • total ankle replacement
  • transfibular total ankle replacement


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