Functional and clinical outcomes of total ankle arthroplasty in elderly compared to younger patients

Shay Tenenbaum*, Jason Bariteau, Scott Coleman, James Brodsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is becoming an increasingly utilized procedure for the management of end-stage ankle arthritis. Elderly patients are the fastest growing segment of the population in the western world, creating a unique challenge to the health economics of our era. Determining if elderly patients with end-stage ankle arthritis demonstrate the same improvements in clinical outcomes and functional measures of gait following TAA would be valuable. This can aid to evaluate the utilization of TAA in this enlarging cohort of our population. Methods Consecutive series of twenty-one patients over the age of 70, who underwent TAA for end-stage ankle arthritis, was prospectively compared to a series of twenty-one patients aged 50–60, who underwent the same procedure by single surgeon during same time period. Clinical outcomes were measured with outcome scores including VAS pain score, AOFAS Ankle and Hindfoot Score, and the SF-36. Three-dimensional gait analysis was performed preoperatively and at a minimum of one year postoperatively, to measure temporal-spatial, kinematic, and kinetic parameters of gait. Mixed model multivariate statistical analysis was used to evaluate and compare the independent contributions to outcomes of the surgical intervention over time; of patient age; and of time-plus-age interaction, as these influenced both the clinical outcomes and the functional gait outcomes. Results Statistically significant improvements in VAS pain scores, AOFAS ankle/hindfoot scores, and SF-36 scores were demonstrated in both age groups. Following surgery, there were improvements in all parameters of gait, including temporal-spatial parameters as step length and walking velocity; kinematic parameters, including, increase in total range of motion to a total of 17–19°; and kinetic parameters, including increase in ankle power and moment. The improvements both in clinical and gait outcomes were equivalent in the two age groups. Conclusions In this comparative study, it is shown that both elderly patients over the age of 70 and younger patients aged 50–60 demonstrated equivalent improvements clinical and gait outcomes following ankle arthroplasty. This may be important data both for clinical decision-making and the health economics for our ageing population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-107
Number of pages6
JournalFoot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Gait study
  • Geriatric
  • Total ankle replacement


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