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Ankle Replacement Provides Pain Relief in Gouty Arthritis

Total ankle replacements result in low complication rates, improved clinical function

MONDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Total ankle replacement provides significant pain relief and good functional results in patients with painful gouty ankle arthritis, and it is associated with a low risk of complications, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Alexej Barg, M.D., from Kantonsspital Liestal in Switzerland, and colleagues studied 19 ankles from 16 patients with chronic gout who were treated with a non-constrained three-component total ankle arthroplasty. Prosthetic component stability was evaluated using weight bearing radiographs. Postoperative pain relief, functional outcome, and quality of life was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain, a 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), and the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot score.

The researchers found that there were no intraoperative complications among these patients. Due to painful prosthetic loosening, one patient had both ankle replacements revised 4.7 years after the initial operation. Improvements were seen in all clinical measures: there was a significant decrease in the average VAS pain score, significant improvement was noted in all eight categories of the SF-36 score, and a significant increase was seen in the average AOFAS hindfoot score.

"The mid-term results following total ankle replacement in patients with gouty ankle arthritis are encouraging. Postoperatively, all patients had significant pain relief. Furthermore, we observed substantial improvement in ankle function and quality of life," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Integra and the Basel Foundation Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomechanics of Foot and Ankle.

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