Early Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes of Trabecular Metal Total Ankle Replacement Using a Transfibular Approach

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In the last 2 decades, total ankle replacement has gained greater acceptance as a treatment option in patients with end-stage ankle osteoarthritis. However, there is a lack of literature on total ankle replacement using a lateral transfibular approach. Therefore, we sought to report early clinical and radiographic results for a patient cohort treated with total ankle replacement using a lateral transfibular approach, performed by a single surgeon.


From October 2012 to December 2014, 55 primary total ankle arthroplasties using the Zimmer Trabecular Metal Total Ankle implant were performed in 54 patients (29 male and 25 female; mean age, 67.0 years). Clinical assessment, including pain evaluation and measurement of ankle range of motion, was conducted preoperatively and at the latest follow-up. Weight-bearing radiographs were used to determine angular alignment of the tibial and talar components and to analyze the bone-implant interface. Intraoperative and postoperative complications, revision surgeries, and survivorship were evaluated.


Implant survival was 93% at 24 months of follow-up. There were 3 revisions of a tibial component due to aseptic loosening. In 10 of the 55 cases, a secondary procedure was performed during follow-up. The mean follow-up duration was 26.6 ± 4.2 months. No delayed union or nonunion was observed for fibular healing. The average visual analog scale (VAS) pain score decreased significantly, from 7.9 ± 1.3 to 0.8 ± 1.2. The average total range of motion increased significantly, from 22.9° ± 12.7° to 40.2° ± 11.8°.


Early results of total ankle replacement using the Zimmer trabecular metal implant and the lateral transfibular approach demonstrated improved patient-reported outcomes and increased ankle motion at a minimum follow-up of 2 years. In the 55 consecutive cases, the fibular osteotomy required for access to the ankle healed without complications. Painful early loosening due to lack of osseous ingrowth required revision in 3 of 55 cases.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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