Diagnostic Criteria and Treatment of Acute and Chronic Periprosthetic Joint Infection of Total Ankle Arthroplasty

Kempland C. Walley, Christopher B. Arena, Paul J. Juliano, Michael C. Aynardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Prosthetic joint infection (PJI) after total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is a serious complication that results in significant consequences to the patient and threatens the survival of the ankle replacement. PJI in TAA may require debridement, placement of antibiotic spacer, revision arthroplasty, conversion to arthrodesis, or potentially below the knee amputation. While the practice of TAA has gained popularity in recent years, there is some minimal data regarding wound complications in acute or chronic PJI of TAA. However, of the limited studies that describe complications of PJI of TAA, even fewer studies describe the criteria used in diagnosing PJI. This review will cover the current available literature regarding total ankle arthroplasty infection and will propose a model for treatment options for acute and chronic PJI in TAA. Methods: A review of the current literature was conducted to identify clinical investigations in which prosthetic joint infections occurred in total ankle arthroplasty with associated clinical findings, radiographic imaging, and functional outcomes. The electronic databases for all peer-reviewed published works available through January 31, 2018, of the Cochrane Library, PubMed MEDLINE, and Google Scholar were explored using the following search terms and Boolean operators: “total ankle replacement” OR “total ankle arthroplasty” AND “periprosthetic joint infection” AND “diagnosis” OR “diagnostic criteria.” An article was considered eligible for inclusion if it concerned diagnostic criteria of acute or chronic periprosthetic joint infection of total ankle arthroplasty regardless of the number of patients treated, type of TAA utilized, conclusion, or level of evidence of study. Results: No studies were found in the review of the literature describing criteria for diagnosing PJI specific to TAA. Conclusions: Literature describing the diagnosis and treatment of PJI in TAA is entirely reliant on the literature surrounding knee and hip arthroplasty. Because of the limited volume of total ankle arthroplasty in comparison to knee and hip arthroplasty, no studies to our knowledge exist describing diagnostic criteria specific to total ankle arthroplasty with associated reliability. Large multicenter trials may be required to obtain the volume necessary to accurately describe diagnostic criteria of PJI specific to TAA. Level of Evidence: Level III, systematic review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFoot and Ankle Orthopaedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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