Intermediate-term follow-up after ankle distraction for treatment of end-stage osteoarthritis

Mai P. Nguyen, Douglas R. Pedersen, Yubo Gao, Charles L. Saltzman, Annunziato Amendola

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment of end-stage ankle osteoarthritis remains challenging, especially in young patients. Initial reports have shown early benefits of joint distraction for the treatment of ankle osteoarthritis. We report the five to ten-year results of a previously described patient cohort following ankle distraction surgery. Methods: All thirty-six patients who had undergone ankle distraction surgery between December 2002 and October 2006 were contacted. Patients were evaluated by a clinical investigator and completed the Ankle Osteoarthritis Scale (AOS) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) surveys. Radiographs as well as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans of the ankles were obtained at the follow-up visits. Results: Twenty-nine patients (81%) were followed for a minimum of five years (mean and standard deviation, 8.3 ± 2.2 years). Sixteen (55%) of the twenty-nine patients still had the native ankle joint whereas thirteen patients (45%) had undergone either ankle arthrodesis or total ankle arthroplasty. Positive predictors of ankle survival included a better AOS score at two years (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.048, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.0028 to 0.84, p = 0.04), older age at surgery (HR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.83 to 0.99, p = 0.04), and fixed distraction (HR = 0.094, 95% CI = 0.017 to 0.525, p < 0.01). Radiographs and advanced imaging revealed progression of ankle osteoarthritis at the time of final follow-up. Conclusions: Ankle function following joint distraction declines over time. Patients should be well informed of the commitment that they must make during the treatment period as well as the long-term results after surgery. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-596
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was funded by a research grant from AO North America. The original study 12 was funded by Grant P50AR048939 from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated.


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