Population prevalence and distribution of ankle pain and symptomatic radiographic ankle osteoarthritis in community dwelling older adults: a systematic review and cross-sectional study
OBJECTIVES:To identify by systematic review published prevalence estimates of radiographic ankle osteoarthritis (OA) and to subsequently estimate the prevalence of ankle pain and symptomatic, radiographic ankle OA within community-dwelling older adults from North Staffordshire, UK. METHODS:Electronic databases were searched using terms for ankle, osteoarthritis and radiography. Data regarding population, radiographic methods, definitions and prevalence estimates of ankle OA were extracted from papers meeting predetermined selection criteria. Adults aged ≥50 years and registered with four general practices in North Staffordshire were mailed a health questionnaire. Ankle pain in the previous month was determined using a foot and ankle pain manikin. Respondents reporting pain in or around the foot in the last 12 months were invited to attend a research clinic where weight-bearing, antero-posterior and lateral ankle radiographs were obtained and scored for OA using a standardised atlas. Prevalence estimates for ankle pain and symptomatic, radiographic ankle OA were calculated using multiple imputation and weighted logistic regression, and stratified by age, gender and socioeconomic status. RESULTS:Eighteen studies were included in the systematic review. The methods of radiographic classification of ankle OA were poorly reported and showed heterogeneity. No true general population prevalence estimates of radiographic ankle OA were found, estimates in select sporting and medical community-dwelling populations ranged from 0.0-97.1%. 5109 participants responded to the health survey questionnaire (adjusted response 56%). Radiographs were obtained in 557 participants. The prevalence of ankle pain was 11.7% (10.8,12.6) and symptomatic, radiographic ankle OA grade≥2 was 3.4% (2.3, 4.5) (grade≥1: 8.8% (7.9,9.8); grade = 3: 1.9% (1.0,2.7). Prevalence was higher in females, younger adults (50-64 years) and those with routine/manual occupations. CONCLUSION:No general population prevalence estimates of radiographic ankle OA were identified in the published literature. Our prevalence study found that ankle pain was common in community-dwelling older adults, whereas moderate to severe symptomatic, radiographic ankle OA occurred less frequently. Further investigations of the prevalence of ankle OA using more sensitive imaging modalities are warranted.