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Sports Activity After Total Ankle Replacement for Arthritis

Posted on: 11/30/1999
More and more patients with joint replacements are joining the sports craze. Sports activity after joint replacement is at an all time high. In this study, rate, level, and type of sports activity after total ankle replacement (TAR) are reported for 147 patients (152 ankles).

Three fourths of the patients had posttraumatic ankle arthritis. All patients had good blood flow, bone density, and ankle stability. Participation in sports and physical activities was an important goal for these patients. Pain relief and range of motion were an important part of meeting this goal.

Before surgery 36 percent of the patients were involved in sports activity. After surgery this number increased to 56 percent. Patients with systemic arthritis were the least likely to join in sports activities.

Some of the patients who were active in sports before surgery lost their ability to participate after TAR because of pain. Others who weren't able to play or recreate before TAR were able to start postoperatively. Biking, swimming, and hiking were the most popular activities. Other activities included tennis, bowling, skiing, golfing, and horse back riding.

Newer TAR designs offering more normal joint motion are making it possible to remain active in sports after surgery. Painful end-stage ankle arthritis can be successfully treated with TAR. As the aging of active Americans continues, the number of posttraumatic ankle patients will also rise. Quality of life is improved with better motion and function after TAR.

Victor Valderrabano, MD, et al. Sports and Recreation Activity of Ankle Arthritis Patients Before and After Total Ankle Replacement. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. June 2006. Vol. 34. No. 6. Pp. 993-999.

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