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Functional Outcome of Meniscal-Bearing Total Ankle Replacement

A Gait Analysis Study

Maria Grazia Benedetti Movement Analysis Laboratory, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Alberto Leardini Movement Analysis Laboratory, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Matteo Romagnoli Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Lisa Berti Movement Analysis Laboratory, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Fabio Catani Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Sandro Giannini Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

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Background: Most clinical studies on total ankle replacement (TAR) report assessments based on traditional clinical scores or radiographic analysis. Only a few studies have used modern instrumentation for quantitative functional analysis during the execution of activities of daily living. The aim of this study was to use gait analysis to compare the functional performance of patients who underwent TAR versus a control population.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of ten consecutive patients who had undergone meniscal-bearing TAR. Clinical and functional assessments were performed at a mean follow-up of 34 months with a modified Mazur scoring system and state-of-the-art gait analysis.

Results: Gait analysis assessment of TAR at medium-term follow-up showed satisfactory results for all patients, with adequate recovery of range of motion. Because the literature reports unsatisfying long-term results, it is important to evaluate these patients over a longer follow-up period.

Conclusions: This study showed that TAR yields satisfactory, but not outstanding, general functional results at nearly 3 years’ follow-up. These gait analysis results highlight the importance of integrating in vivo measurements with the standard clinical assessments of patients who underwent TAR while they perform activities of daily living. These results also emphasize the importance of evaluating the functional outcome of TAR over time. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(1): 19–26, 2008)

Corresponding author: Maria Grazia Benedetti, MD, Movement Analysis Laboratory, Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute, University of Bologna, Via di Barbiano 1/10, Bologna, 40136, Italy. (E-mail: benedetti@ior.it)