Complication rates following total ankle arthroplasty in inpatient versus outpatient populations: a systematic review & meta-analysis


Resident, Department of Surgery, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Resident, Department of Surgery, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) is used as an alternative to ankle arthrodesis for adults with severe ankle arthritis. Numerous orthopedic centers have entered the healthcare market offering fast-tracked joint replacement protocols, meanwhile, TAA has been excluded from these joint centers, and is primarily performed in the inpatient setting. The purpose of this study is to examine short-term complications in the inpatient and outpatient settings following TAA using a systematic review and quantitative analysis. We considered all studies examining short-term complications following TAA performed in the inpatient versus outpatient setting occuring within 1 year of the index operation. We summarized data using a pooled relative risk and random effects model. A pooled sensitivity analysis was performed for studies with data on complication rates for inpatient or outpatient populations, which did not have a control group. The quality of included studies was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Nine studies were included in the quantitative analysis, with 4 studies in the final meta-analysis. Subjects undergoing inpatient surgery experienced a 5-times higher risk of short-term complications compared to the outpatient group (risk ratio 5.27, 95% confidence interval 3.31, 8.42). Results did not change after sensitivity analysis (inpatient weighted mean complication rate: 9.62% vs outpatient weighted mean 5.02%, p value <.001). The overall level of evidence of included studies was level III, with a moderate to high risk of bias. Outpatient TAAs do not appear to pose excess complication risks compared to inpatient procedures, and may therefore be a reasonable addition to experienced centers that have established a fast-track outpatient total joint protocol.

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