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Foot Ankle Int. 2005 Jul;26(7):537-9.

Functional limitations of patients with end-stage ankle arthrosis.

Author information

  • 1Orthopaedics, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.

Erratum in

  • Foot Ankle Int. 2005 Sep;26(9):table of contents. Hansen, Sigvard T Jr [added].



Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the leading causes of disability among adults in the United States. The purpose of this report was to describe the self-reported functional limitations of a group of patients with end-stage ankle arthrosis.


Patients who presented for operative management of end-stage ankle arthrosis at the University of Minnesota and Harborview Medical Center completed a Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment (MFA) as part of their preoperative clinical evaluation. Data from patients evaluated during the time period April, 1995, through May, 2004, were used for this project.


Four hundred and twenty-six patients with the diagnosis of end-stage ankle arthrosis completed baseline questionnaires. Six of the 426 patients received care on both ankles during the time of this project. The average age of patients at the time of completion of the questionnaire was 56.7 years. There were 241 men and 185 women. The primary underlying causes identified by the treating surgeon at the time of surgery were primary osteoarthritis with no known prior trauma (66), previous trauma (tibial fracture, foot fractures, or ankle ligamentous disruption) (296), rheumatoid arthritis (24), no known cause (21), and a variety of diseases or infections (19). In all domains, the patients with end-stage ankle arthrosis showed statistically significant differences from a general population sample.


The effects of ankle arthritis as demonstrated by this data are severe. Most of these patients were severely limited in function. Without a data-driven understanding of the limitations the patients have, it is difficult to make an effective argument for focused research to solve the problems. Without understanding the patients' needs, it is impossible to assess the effect of treatment. The information in this paper provides a baseline understanding of effect of the current functional limitations of patients with end-stage ankle arthrosis.

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