Bilateral Arthrodesis of the Ankle Joint: Self-Reported Outcomes in 35 Patients From the Swedish Ankle Registry

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Bilateral ankle arthrodesis is seldom performed, and results concerning the outcome and satisfaction can only sparsely be found in published studies. We analyzed the data from 35 patients who had undergone bilateral ankle arthrodesis in the Swedish Ankle Registry using patient-reported generic and region-specific outcome measures. Of 36 talocrural arthrodeses and 34 tibio-talar-calcaneal arthrodeses, 6 ankles (9%) had undergone repeat arthrodesis because of nonunion. After a mean follow-up period of 47 ± 5 (range 12 to 194) months, the mean scores were as follows: self-reported foot and ankle score, 33 ± 10 (range 4 to 48); the EuroQol Group’s EQ-5D™ score, 0.67 ± 0.28 (range −0.11 to 1), the EuroQol Group’s visual analog scale score, 70 ± 19 (range 20 to 95), 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) physical domain, 39 ± 11 (range 16 to 58); and SF-36 mental domain, 54 ± 14 (range 17 to 71). Patients with rheumatoid arthritis seemed to have similar self-reported foot and ankle scores but possibly lower EQ-5D™ and SF-36 scores. Those with talocrural arthrodeses scored higher than did those with tibio-talar-calcaneal arthrodeses on the EQ5D™ and SF-36 questionnaires (p = .03 and p = .04). In 64 of 70 ankles (91%), the patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the outcome. In conclusion, we consider bilateral ankle arthrodesis to be a reasonable treatment for symptomatic hindfoot arthritis, with high postoperative mid-term satisfaction and satisfactory scores on the patient-reported generic and region-specific outcome measures, when no other treatment option is available.

Level of Clinical Evidence: 3

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