Perioperative Physiotherapy for Total Ankle Replacement in Patients With Inherited Bleeding Disorders: Outline of an Algorithm

Med Sci Monit. 2017 Jan 27;23:498-504. doi: 10.12659/msm.898075.


The treatment of end-stage hemophilic arthropathy of the ankle joint remains a controversial problem, and total ankle replacement (TAR) is considered to be a valuable management option. Physiotherapy continues to be an extremely important part of TAR and has a tremendous impact on the outcomes of this procedure. Given the lack of data on the latter, this study details a protocol of perioperative physiotherapy in TAR in patients with inherited bleeding disorders (IBD). The protocol outlined in this paper was devised via consultations within an interdisciplinary group, the authors' own experiences with TAR in hemophilic and non-hemophilic patients, previous reports on this issue in the literature, and patient opinions. Our working group followed the criteria of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. The algorithm includes 4 physiotherapy phases with specified time frames, aims, interventions, and examples of exercises for each phase. We emphasize the importance of preoperative rehabilitation, and recommend introducing intensive physiotherapy immediately after the surgery, with regard to the wound protection and avoiding full weight-bearing in the first weeks. The intensity of physiotherapy should be adjusted individually depending on individual patient progress. This study details a rehabilitation protocol for TAR in patients with IBDs, which can be equally applicable to clinicians and researchers. Further scientific studies are required to investigate the beneficial effect of different protocols as well as to clarify the effectiveness of various frequencies, durations, and intensities of selected interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Ankle Joint / physiology
  • Ankle Joint / surgery
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Ankle / methods*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Ankle / rehabilitation
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders, Inherited / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / surgery
  • Joint Diseases / therapy*
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Weight-Bearing