Arthroscopic vs. Open-Ankle Arthrodesis on Fusion Rate in Ankle Osteoarthritis Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Clin Med. 2023 May 20;12(10):3574. doi: 10.3390/jcm12103574.


Although open surgery is the conventional option for ankle arthritis, there are some reports in the literature regarding the use of the arthroscopy procedure with outstanding results. The primary purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to analyze the effect of the surgery technique (open-ankle arthrodesis vs. arthroscopy) in patients with ankle osteoarthritis. Three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus) were searched until 10 April 2023. The Cochrane Collaboration's risk-of-bias tool was used to assess the risk of bias and grading of the recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation system for each outcome. The between-study variance was estimated using a random-effects model. A total of 13 studies (including n = 994 participants) met the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis results revealed a nom-significant (p = 0.072) odds ratio (OR) of 0.54 (0.28-1.07) for the fusion rate. Regarding operation time, a non-significant difference (p = 0.573) among both surgical techniques was found (mean differences (MD) = 3.40 min [-11.08 to 17.88]). However, hospital length stay and overall complications revealed significant differences (MD = 2.29 days [0.63 to 3.95], p = 0.017 and OR = 0.47 [0.26 to 0.83], p = 0.016), respectively. Our findings showed a non-statistically significant fusion rate. On the other hand, operation time was similar among both surgical techniques, without significant differences. Nevertheless, lower hospital stay was found in patients that were operated on with arthroscopy. Finally, for the outcome of overall complications, the ankle arthroscopy technique was a protective factor in comparison with open surgery.

Keywords: ankle osteoarthritis; arthrodesis; arthroscopic; meta-analysis; open surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.