The effect of tibiotalar alignment on coronal plane mechanics following total ankle replacement.
BACKGROUND: Gait mechanics following total ankle replacement (TAR) have reported improved ankle motion following surgery. However, no studies have addressed the impact of preoperative radiographic tibiotalar alignment on post-TAR gait mechanics. We therefore investigated whether preoperative tibiotalar alignment (varus, valgus, or neutral) resulted in significantly different coronal plane mechanics or ground reaction forces post-TAR. METHODS: We conducted a non-randomized study of 93 consecutive end-stage ankle arthritis patients. Standard weight-bearing radiographs were obtained preoperatively to categorize patients as having neutral (±4°), varus (≥5° of varus), or valgus (≥5° of valgus) coronal plane tibiotalar alignment. All patients underwent a standard walking assessment including three-dimensional lower extremity kinetics and kinematics preoperatively, 12 and 24 months postoperatively. RESULTS: A significant group by time interaction was observed for the propulsive vertical ground reaction force (vGRF), coronal plane hip range of motion (ROM) and the peak hip abduction moment. The valgus group demonstrated an increase in the peak knee adduction angle and knee adduction angle at heel strike when compared to the other groups. Coronal plane ankle ROM, knee and hip angles at heel strike, and the peak hip angle exhibited significant increases across time. Peak ankle inversion moment, peak knee abduction moment and the weight acceptance vGRF also exhibited significant increases across time. Neutral ankle alignment was achieved for all patients by 2 years following TAR. CONCLUSIONS: Restoration of neutral ankle alignment at the time of TAR in patients with preoperative varus or valgus tibiotalar alignment resulted in biomechanics similar to those of patients with neutral preoperative tibiotalar alignment by 24-month follow-up.
Grier, AJ; Schmitt, AC; Adams, SB; Queen, RM
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