This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Intermediate outcomes for total ankle replacement are similar to those for ankle fusion, but well-designed comparative studies are needed to confirm this conclusion, according to Steven Haddad, M.D., Northwestern University. Haddad is the author of a meta-analysis of ankle surgery studies in the September Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the first such systematic analysis comparing the two procedures. The analysis includes 49 primary studies, 10 of which evaluated total ankle replacement in a total of 852 patients and 39 of which evaluated ankle arthrodesis in a total of 1,262 patients. Of the patients treated with second generation total ankle replacement devices, 82% had excellent or good results compared to 72% of patients treated with traditional ankle fusion. Direct comparative meta-analysis of total ankle replacement and fusion was not possible because there have been no head-to-head trials. The analysis was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson/DePuy, maker of the 510(k)-cleared Agility Total Ankle System
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