Diabetes Mellitus and Total Ankle Arthroplasty Complications

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Foot & ankle international




5-year outcomes; diabetes mellitus; postoperative complications; total ankle arthroplasty


BACKGROUND: Postoperative infection, aseptic loosening, and perioperative medical complications after total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) are all devastating problems. While previous studies have shown diabetes as a risk factor predisposing patients to postoperative complications, not all literature supports this association following TAA. The goal of this study is to determine if diabetes influences midterm outcomes following TAA. METHODS: An insurance database was utilized to identify patients undergoing TAA for ankle arthritis with a concurrent diagnosis of diabetes based on () and () and (), diagnosis and procedure codes from 2010 to 2021. The postoperative outcomes of all-cause revision, periprosthetic joint infection (PJI), septic revision, and aseptic revision were compared between patients with and without diabetes with a minimum 2-year follow-up using Kaplan-Meier and multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and Charlson Comorbidity Index were analyzed via univariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: The study population included 8317 patients, 345 (4.1%) of whom had a concurrent diabetes diagnosis, who underwent TAA. After multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis, the 5-year cumulative incidence of being coded as having PJI was 7.3% in patients with known diabetes compared to 3.9% in patients without known diabetes, with a 95% increased risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1.95, 95% CI 1.15-3.30,  = .01). Patients with diabetes also demonstrated a 5-year cumulative incidence of septic revision of 1.4% compared to 0.4% in those without, with a 363% increased risk (HR 4.63, 95% CI 1.22-17.52,  = .02). However, there was no difference in the 5-year cumulative incidence of all-cause revision TAA with 4.6% in patients with diabetes and 4.3% in those without (HR 1.29, 95% CI 0.69-2.44,  = .42). CONCLUSION: In this database, the 5-year risk of PJI and septic revision was higher among patients with diabetes compared to those without, but cumulative incidence of all-cause revision TAA was not different between groups. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, retrospective cohort database study.


Orthopaedic Surgery