Talar neck angle correlates with tibial torsion-Guidance for 3D and 2D measurements in total ankle replacement

J Orthop Res. 2021 Apr;39(4):788-796. doi: 10.1002/jor.24928. Epub 2020 Dec 8.


Axial plane alignment of the talar component in total ankle arthroplasty is poorly understood and remains a major issue, especially since malpositioning results in increased peak pressure and rotational torque. Further profound knowledge regarding individual anatomy of the talus and its relation to proximal and distal osseous structures is therefore needed. Therefore, three-dimensional (3D) surface models of 50 lower extremities were generated using computed tomography data of patients without ankle osteoarthritis. The talus neck torsion was measured using a novel 3D measurement method. Then, tibial torsion and subtalar joint axis orientation were measured and correlated to the talus neck torsion. Moreover, a 2D measurement method of the talus neck torsion was developed. A statistically significant correlation was found between external tibia torsion and medial talus neck torsion, as well as talus neck axis and subtalar joint axis in the transversal and frontal plane. The novel defined 3D measurement methods indicated excellent inter-rater and intra-rater reliability. The 2D measurement method of the talus neck torsion was in good agreement with the 3D method. The results showed that the rotational profiles of the tibia, talus, and adjacent joints are interconnected, which should be considered in total ankle replacement (TAR). Clinical relevance: This study improves the overall understanding of the talar anatomy, as well as its relationship to adjacent osseous structures. The novel 2D measurement method of the talus neck torsion might improve talar component positioning in the axial plane corresponding to the patient's individual anatomy, and therefore improve the survival rate of TAR.

Keywords: extramedullary referencing; talar neck torsion; total ankle replacement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / surgery
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Ankle / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Talus / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Torque
  • Young Adult