Ankle Arthroplasty with Preoperative Coronal Plane Deformity: Short-Term Results

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The treatment of coronal plane deformity during total ankle arthroplasty is understood poorly. This study tests the hypotheses that preoperative coronal plane malalignment and incongruence of the ankle can be corrected and maintained for 2 years with total ankle replacement, and that factors can be identified that place ankles at risk of having progressive edge-loading develop. Of 86 consecutive patients who had total ankle replacement, 35 had preoperative coronal plane alignment ≥ 10°. Lateral ligament reconstruction was done in seven patients and superficial deltoid release was done in four patients at the time of ankle replacement. Ankles with talar and tibial deformities improved talar and tibial alignment toward a neutral weightbearing axis postoperatively. Ankles with only a talar deformity improved the talar alignment toward a neutral weightbearing axis postoperatively. No changes in alignment were shown during the subsequent 2 years. Postoperative ankle articulations were congruent. Patients with preoperative incongruent joints are 10 times more likely to have progressive edge-loading develop than patients with congruent joints. Surgeons must be attentive to coronal plane alignment during and after ankle replacement. Longer followup is needed to assess the longevity of the correction and the impact of minor malalignment on implant wear.

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