Infections in primary total ankle replacement: Anterior approach versus lateral transfibular approach

Foot Ankle Surg. 2019 Feb;25(1):19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.fas.2017.07.643. Epub 2017 Aug 4.


Background: Total ankle replacement (TAR) represents an alternative to fusion for the treatment of end-stage ankle osteoarthritis. The aim of the present study was to retrospectively assess the frequency of infections between TARs with anterior and lateral transfibular approach at 12-months follow-up.

Methods: 81 TARs through an anterior approach and 69 TARs through a lateral approach were performed between May 2011 and July 2015. We compared surgical time and tourniquet time, as well as superficial and deep infections frequency during the first 12 postoperative months.

Results: In the anterior approach group, there were 3 (3.7%) deep infections and 4 (4.9%) superficial wound infections. In the lateral approach group, there were 1 (1.4%) deep infection and 2 superficial wound infections (2.9%). There were not statistically significant differences between the groups. There was a significant difference between anterior approach (115minutes) and lateral approach group (179minutes) in terms of surgical time (P<0.001).

Conclusions: The frequency of superficial and deep periprosthetic infections during the first postoperative year was not significantly different in the lateral approach group compared to the anterior approach group, despite the significantly longer surgical time in the lateral transfibular approach group.

Keywords: Ankle arthroplasty; Arthritis; Periprosthetic joint infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Ankle / methods*
  • Female
  • Fibula
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult