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£220,000 Grant Goes To Study Of Surgery Outcomes In Ankle OA Patients

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Some 30,000 Britons suffer from ankle osteoarthritis. While medical advances have made ankle replacement an increasingly popular treatment option in the end stages of the disease, there is no clarity at present as to the factors affecting surgery outcomes. Arthritis Research UK aims to fill that gap by providing a £220,000 grant to researchers from the University of East Anglia. With Professor Alex MacGregor at the helm, the team will study the performance of implants in individual patients one year after surgery and will also examine the cost-effectiveness of surgical treatment, the charity announced.

MacGregor´s team will work alongside colleagues from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. They will employ newly developed patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in order to determine which patients benefit most from ankle replacement surgery. PROMS make it possible to identify problems quickly, which makes them important tools for monitoring surgery outcomes. So far, there have been no consistent and reliable measurements of patient views on surgery results, Arthritis Research UK noted.

As MacGregor explained, his team will use detailed clinical and radiological data to analyse the impact of various factors on the success of ankle replacement surgery. The researchers will look at factors such as disease severity prior to surgery, operating technique and post-surgical treatment. They will also conduct a health economic analysis to determine cost-effectiveness in comparison to non-surgical treatment or ankle fusion. According to MacGregor, the study will provide insight into which patients stand to derive the greatest benefits from ankle replacement surgery.