Intermediate to long-term outcomes of the STAR Total Ankle Replacement: the patient perspective

James A Nunley, Adam M Caputo, Mark E Easley, Chad Cook
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2012 January 4, 94 (1): 43-8

BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present study was to document the patient self-reported improvements in quality of life, function, and overall impairment scores, as well as the improvement in the clinically derived outcome scores, following a Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement (STAR) arthroplasty performed for the treatment of end-stage ankle arthritis.

METHODS: All patients who underwent a Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement arthroplasty from July 1998 through February 2008 were prospectively followed and retrospectively reviewed. All surgical procedures were performed by a single surgeon. Preoperatively and at subsequent follow-up visits, patients were assessed with (1) a visual analog scale (VAS) score for pain, (2) the Short Form-36 (SF-36) quality-of-life scale, (3) the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot scale and subscales, (4) the Buechel-Pappas pain and function scores, and (5) the ankle range of motion. Additional measures that were recorded included (1) concomitant surgical procedures during the initial ankle replacement, (2) revision surgery during the follow-up period, and (3) any additional surgical procedures. Revision was defined as failure of either the tibial or the talar metallic component that required removal of a metallic implant for any reason.

RESULTS: Eighty-two consecutive patients were evaluated. The duration of follow-up ranged from twenty-four to 108 months (mean, sixty-one months; median, sixty months). During the follow-up period, three patients died and six patients moved out of the region. The latter six patients were followed by another surgeon group, and their data were included. Eight patients were lost to follow-up after twelve months. There were significant improvements in all outcome categories between the preoperative and postoperative evaluations. The most compelling finding of the present study involved the marked improvement in terms of the self-reported measures of impairments, quality of life, pain, and function.

CONCLUSIONS: Total ankle arthroplasty with the Scandinavian Total Ankle Replacement prosthesis was associated with significant improvements in terms of pain, function, and quality of life after intermediate to long-term follow-up.

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