Ankle distraction arthroplasty and supramalleolar osteotomy were both options for post-traumatic varus ankle arthritis (VAA), but their comparative effectiveness was scarcely reported. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of two operative methods for treatment of Takakura-Tanaka stage 3 post-traumatic VAA.
This was a retrospective study, comprising 73 consecutive patients who presented with Takakura-Tanaka stage 3 post-traumatic VAA treated by either ankle distraction arthroplasty (n = 32) or supramalleolar osteotomy (n = 41) from January 2016 to December 2019. All patients had a minimum 24-month follow-up assessments. The outcome measures were visual analog scale (VAS), the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot scores, complications, patient-rated overall satisfaction and ankle function.
At an average of 32 months (range, 24-52 months) follow-up, significant improvement was observed for VAS, AOFAS, range of motion (ROM) and most radiographic parameters (except for TAS and TLS for ankle distraction arthroplasty group) compared to preoperative baselines (p  0.05). The ankle distraction arthroplasty group had a better postoperative ankle motion than did the supramalleolar osteotomy group, in terms of plantarflexion (37.8 ± 4.2 vs. 30.4 ± 3.6, p = 0.006), dorsiflexion (36.5 ± 6.4 vs. 28.3 ± 5.5, p = 0.004), varus (32.1 ± 4.5 vs. 27.1 ± 3.1, p = 0.017) and valgus (28.4 ± 3.7 vs. 25.2 ± 2.8, p = 0.046).
Both operative treatments are effective for Takakura-Tanaka stage 3 post-traumatic VAA. In practice, individualized treatment option tailored to the ankle condition and patients’ specific need should be considered.
 III, retrospective comparative series.

© 2022. The Author(s).