30-Day Outcomes for Total Ankle Arthroplasty in Patients With Anemia

Background: While anemia has been associated with poor surgical outcomes in total knee arthroplasty and total hip arthroplasty, the effects of anemia on total ankle arthroplasty remain unknown. This study examines how preoperative anemia affects postoperative outcomes in total ankle arthroplasty.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using the American College of Surgeons National Surgery Quality Improvement Project database from 2011 to 2018 for total ankle arthroplasty procedures. Hematocrit (HCT) levels were used to determine preoperative anemia.

Results: Of the 1028 patients included in this study, 114 patients were found to be anemic. Univariate analysis demonstrated anemia was significantly associated with an increased average hospital length of stay (2.2 vs 1.8 days, P < .008), increased rate of 30-day readmission (3.5% vs 1.1%, P = .036), increased 30-day reoperation (2.6% vs 0.4%, P = .007), extended length of stay (64% vs 49.9%, P = .004), wound complication (1.75% vs 0.11%, P = .002), and surgical site infection (2.6% vs 0.6%, P = .017). Multivariate logistic regression analysis found anemia to be significantly associated with extended hospital length of stay (odds ratio [OR], 1.62; 95% CI, 1.07-2.45; P = .023) and increased reoperation rates (OR, 5.47; 95% CI, 1.15-26.00; P = .033). Anemia was not found to be a predictor of increased readmission rates (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 0.93-10.56; P = .066) or postoperative complications (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 0.35-4.56; P = .71).

Conclusion: This study found increasing severity of anemia to be associated with extended hospital length of stay and increased reoperation rates. Providers and patients should be aware of the increased risks of total ankle arthroplasty with preoperative anemia.

Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Keywords: anemia; ankle surgery; arthroplasty; complications; foot and ankle surgery; orthopaedic surgery; surgical complications; total ankle arthroplasty.