Background

The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and radiographic outcomes of stabilization of the lateral ligament combined with joint debridement in patients with ligamentous moderate neutral ankle osteoarthritis with those achieved for patients with varus ankle osteoarthritis.

Methods

We reviewed integrated data from 40 patients (40 ankles) with ligamentous moderate ankle osteoarthritis. Matched for age, gender, and follow-up duration, they were divided into two groups by preoperative coronal plane hindfoot moment arm values (HMAV): neutral (20 ankles, ≤15 mm) and varus (20 ankles, >15 mm) deformity. Stabilization of lateral ligament combined with joint debridement was performed. American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hind foot score, hindfood moment arm values, and classification of Takakura were used to compare clinical and radiographic outcomes after a mean follow-up period of 64.2 months (range, 60-84 months).

Results

Mean post-operative AOFAS was 86.0 and 72.6 in the neutral and varus groups, respectively. The post-operative AOFAS of both groups improved significantly, although the outcome improvement of the neutral group was better than that of the varus group (P = 0.0006). There was obvious improvement in HMAV of the neutral group (P = 0.0469) and less improvement in HMAV of the varus group (P = 0.8509). The mean postoperative HMAV was 4.60 mm (0–10 mm) and 17.85 mm (8–23 mm) in the neutral and varus groups, respectively. The radiographic classification of Takakura was unchanged in the neutral group, whereas four cases in the varus group had a worse classification.

Conclusions

Stabilization of the lateral ligament combined with joint debridement for ligamentous moderate ankle osteoarthritis showed better clinical and radiographic outcomes in patients with neutral alignment than that achieved for patients with varus malalignment.

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