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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Sep 15;92(12):2150-5. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.00870.

Risk factors for incision-healing complications following total ankle arthroplasty.

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Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Service, Rothman Institute of Orthopaedics, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 925 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.



The anterior incision used for the insertion of total ankle arthroplasty systems is at high risk for wound complications, and little has been documented regarding who is at risk for the development of these complications.


We conducted a retrospective chart review of 106 total ankle arthroplasties. Independent risk variables, including age, sex, body-mass index, diabetes, smoking, medications, preoperative diagnosis, implant size, tourniquet time, closure method, and anticoagulation status, were recorded. Postoperative office notes were reviewed for wound-related complications. Outcomes were divided into three categories: no complications (uncomplicated wound-healing), minor complications (wounds requiring only local care/oral antibiotics), and major complications (requiring a return to the operating room for treatment). Simultaneously, categorical variables were compared with use of chi-square analysis. Multivariate logistic regression and odds ratio assessment were performed as well.


When patients who had no complications were compared with those who had minor complications, a history of diabetes was the only variable that was identified as resulting in a significant risk increase (p = 0.04). When patients who had no wound complications or minor wound complications were compared with those who had major wound complications, female sex, a history of corticosteroid use, and underlying inflammatory arthritis were all associated with increased risk. Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated underlying inflammatory arthritis (p = 0.004) to be the only significant risk factor for major wound complications, with an odds ratio demonstrating a 14.03 times increased risk of requiring reoperation.


We recommend that caution be used when selecting and educating patients with inflammatory arthritic conditions who are potential candidates for total ankle arthroplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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