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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Distraction arthroplasty compared to other cartilage preservation procedures in patients with post-traumatic arthritis: a systematic review

Jessica C. Rivera, Jason A. Beachler

Keywords : Post-traumatic arthritis, Cartilage, Joint-sparing, Distraction arthroplasty

Citation Information : Rivera JC, Beachler JA. Distraction arthroplasty compared to other cartilage preservation procedures in patients with post-traumatic arthritis: a systematic review. 2018; 13 (2):61-67.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0305-2

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) is characterized by the deterioration of articular cartilage temporally associated with an articular injury. With a paucity of literature comparing joint preservation techniques, we performed a systematic review of the literature intending to describe and summarize the results of ankle distraction arthroplasty as it compares with studies on tibio-talar microfracture, allograft, and autograft for ankle joint preservation in the post-traumatic population under 50 years of age. Research databases were searched and abstracts screened for relevance on our topic of interest. Abstracts meeting screening criteria with high interobserver reliability underwent full-manuscript review and coding for pertinent citation, study level, treatment, and outcome variables. Outcome variables for patient-reported pain scales, validated outcome measurement tools, radiographic progression, reoperation/re-treatment rates, and complication rates were recorded. Out of 105 unique citations, 10 publications were included. The distraction arthroplasty studies had 36 out of 181 patients requiring reoperation for complications (19.9%), while other joint-preserving procedures studies had 40 out of 177 patients requiring reoperations for complications (22.6%). Clinical outcome scores at mean follow-up time ranging from 2 to 10 years between studies were similar. Reported results for a variety of cartilage preservation procedures, including distraction arthroplasty, are satisfactory and reoperation rates for complication are similar. Limitations in available data and underlying study quality affect synthesis of the results therein. While distraction arthroplasty is an option for cartilage preservation in patients with PTA of the ankle, the technique is highly specialized which may affect the external validity. Level of evidence: III.

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