Publication Date



Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics



Compared to more prevalent arthritic conditions, ankle arthritis is complicated by an earlier age of onset. Recently published data demonstrates excellent survivorship and complication rates in short-/midterm follow-up of younger patients who received a primary total ankle arthroplasty (TAA). Additionally, older TAA patients display comparable reported outcomes relative to hip/knee arthroplasty. However, there remains a paucity of literature surrounding the reported outcomes of younger patients undergoing TAA. Thus, our aim was to assess the reported outcomes of individuals aged <50 years receiving a primary TAA.


A retrospective cohort analysis of adult patients <50 years who received a primary total ankle replacement was conducted. Patient demographics, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome characteristics were recorded from a chart review of 41 patients with at least 1 year of postoperative clinical follow-up. Postoperative reported outcomes were obtained via telephone interviews. Primary outcomes that were measured included emotional and physical health, activity limitation, ambulation, and global health. Measures used included the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Global Health, and Sickness Impact Profile Ambulation. The functional outcomes in our study sample were compared with age- and gender-matched norms from a general US population, and 95% CIs were calculated for each functional outcome mean. Student t test was used for continuous variables, and χ2 analysis was used for categorical variables.


Thirty-one of 41 eligible patients were reached for interview. The average age at surgery was 39.7 years. Clinical and radiographic follow-up was a mean of 51.6 months and 31.2 months following TAA, respectively. General health as measured with the SF-36 was not significantly different from age-/gender-matched norms. Eighty-seven percent of patients would choose to have a TAA again. Although 58% reported being limited in vigorous activities, 61% were able to ambulate frequently for long periods of time. On average, the patients did not report ongoing pain, and only 16% reported fatigue that hindered activities. Eighty-one percent reported returning to full employment and performing their duties without difficulty, and 84% reported they resumed all normal social activities. Primary implant survivorship was 93%.


Despite a younger age and potentially increased demands, patients aged <50 years undergoing primary TAA are generally satisfied with their index procedure at a mean follow-up of nearly 5 years. Our findings of positive outcomes on their health and well-being may improve surgeon insight for TAA as an alternative treatment for younger individuals with end-stage ankle arthritis.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.


ankle arthritis, total ankle replacement, total ankle arthroplasty, patient reported outcome measurement


PMID: 35295289

Included in

Orthopedics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.