We completed the registration process in Harrogate in July 2016 to participate in the multi-centre OARS study, funded by Arthritis UK and led by the University of East Anglia. I have recruited 2 patients thusfar and performed a total ankle replcement in the first last week. Collaborative projects such as the OARS study are very important to help guide future practice and give patients the best possible information.
Ankle osteoarthritis affects more than 29,000 patients annually in the UK. Advances in the design of ankle replacements have led to its increasing use in the treatment of end stage ankle arthritis, however knowledge of how well these implants perform in individual patients is currently lacking and the patient perspective has not yet been measured in a consistent or reliable way.
Since 2010, the National Joint Register has included data on total ankle replacement, recording details of the implant type and surgical technique. These records can provide a platform to collect data on patients undergoing ankle replacements and by using newly developed patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), there is an opportunity to understand who is best suited to receive this joint replacement.
In the OARS study, detailed clinical and radiological data will be collected to allow an analysis of how factors such as pre-operative disease severity, surgical technique and post-operative treatment regimes affect the outcome of total joint replacement. A health economic analysis will also be undertaken to estimate the cost effectiveness of the procedure when compared with no intervention and with alternative treatments such as ankle fusion.