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Oct 23, 2019

Outcomes of total ankle replacement for the treatment of end-stage ankle arthritis continue to improve. Debate continues whether a mobile-bearing total ankle replacement (MB-TAR) or a fixed-bearing total ankle replacement (FB-TAR) is superior, with successful outcomes reported long term for MB-TAR and at intermediate- to long-term follow-up for newer generation FB-TAR. Although comparisons between the 2 total ankle designs have been reported, to our knowledge, no investigation has compared the 2 designs with a high level of evidence. This prospective, randomized controlled trial conducted at a single institution compares patient satisfaction, functional outcomes, and radiographic results of the mobile-bearing STAR and the fixed-bearing Salto-Talaris in the treatment of end-stage ankle arthritis.

With a high level of evidence, our study found that patient-reported and clinical outcomes were favorable for both designs and that there was no significant difference in clinical improvement between the 2 implants. The incidence of lucency/cyst formation was similar for MB-TAR and FH-TAR for the tibial component, but the MB-TAR had greater talar lucency/cyst formation and tibial and talar subsidence. As has been suggested in previous studies, clinical outcomes do not necessarily correlate with radiographic findings. Reoperations were more common for MB-TAR and, in most cases, were to relieve impingement or treat cysts rather than revise or remove metal implants.


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