In the United States, ankle fusion is more commonly performed than total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) for treatment of degenerative joint disease of the ankle. However, recent advances in implant design and technique have led to a renewed interest in research on TAA. To shed light on current research trends and limited data rather than examine the merits between both methods, we performed a PubMed search of studies on TAA and ankle fusion between January 1, 2009, and January 1, 2015, published in both the American edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) and Foot & Ankle International (FAI). We chose these journals because of their combined audience of both a specific orthopaedic subspecialty and the general orthopaedic community. A total of 132 articles met our inclusion criteria, with 76% and 3% of articles on TAA alone and ankle fusion alone published in JBJS, respectively, and 61% and 19% in FAI, respectively. Additionally, we found that a relatively small number of authors accounted for 65% of the articles in JBJS and 18% in FAI. The replacement of one procedure by the other will not likely occur in the near future, but our findings indicate a current research trend toward TAA more than ankle fusion. The clinical impact of an increased amount of studies on TAA has yet to be determined.

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