Anderson, AM, Chapman, LS, Siddle, HJ, Watson, S, Klugerman, J, Antcliff, D, Keenan, A-M and Brockett, CL (2022) "I could have a proper ankle" - a qualitative study of patients' perceptions of total ankle replacement and ankle fusion surgery. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 15 (1). 88 - ?. ISSN 1757-1146

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BACKGROUND: End-stage ankle osteoarthritis typically causes severe pain and impaired function. Surgical treatment involves total ankle replacement (TAR) or ankle fusion. Definitive evidence about which procedure is optimal is lacking. No previous studies have thoroughly explored patients' experiences across the entire TAR/ankle fusion pathway. This study aimed to address this gap by exploring perceptions of surgery, education, rehabilitation and outcomes among patients who had undergone TAR or ankle fusion. METHODS: Seven participants were purposively selected from an orthopaedic centre in northern England (3 females, 4 males). Participants had undergone primary TAR without revision (n = 2), TAR requiring revision (n = 3) or ankle fusion (n = 2). Each participant completed a single semi-structured interview. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. RESULTS: Three themes, each with two subthemes, were identified: decision-making (seeking help; surgical options), perceptions of support (information/education; clinical support) and impact on the individual (personal circumstances and beliefs; post-operative outcomes). Pain affecting participants' valued activities was key to their decision to seek help. Participants' decision between TAR and ankle fusion was influenced by multiple factors. Concerns regarding the lack of joint flexibility following fusion were highlighted, with some participants perceiving TAR as a "proper ankle" that would enable them to avoid limping. Participants obtained information from various sources, with most feeling that the education from their care team was inadequate. Participants' individual circumstances and beliefs influenced their decision-making and perceptions of their post-operative outcomes. Finally, whilst most participants were pleased with their outcomes, some experienced substantial ongoing problems such as difficulty walking and chronic pain. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the importance of providing adequate education about TAR and ankle fusion to enable patients to make informed decisions. Most participants felt that the education and clinical support they received did not fully meet their needs. Participants' personal circumstances and beliefs had a strong influence on their decision-making and perceptions of their post-operative outcomes, highlighting the need to personally tailor education and clinical support. Future work with a larger sample of patients and other key stakeholders is required to develop consensus-based guidelines on pre- and post-operative support for patients undergoing TAR/ankle fusion.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Total ankle replacement; Ankle fusion; Patient education; Rehabilitation
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RD Surgery
R Medicine > RD Surgery > RD32 Operative surgery. Technique of surgical operations
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 12:46
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2023 14:32

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