Stress fracture of the tibia after arthrodesis of the ankle or the hindfoot.
We studied twelve patients who had a stress fracture of the tibia and one patient who had a stress fracture of the fibula after arthrodesis of the ankle or the foot. A second stress fracture subsequently developed in two patients. All but two patients were managed non-operatively, and the fractures healed uneventfully. One patient who was managed operatively had a below-the-knee amputation to treat a painful non-union of a tibial fracture, and the other had interlocking intramedullary nailing for a displaced fracture. All but one of the arthrodesis sites had fused before the stress fracture occurred. All of the stress fractures that occurred after arthrodesis of the ankle were in the middle and distal aspects or the distal aspect of the tibia, while those that occurred after triple arthrodesis were in the distal aspect of the fibula or the medial malleolus. Although six of the thirteen patients still had uncorrected alignment and deformity after the arthrodesis, optimum alignment after the arthrodesis did not preclude the occurrence of a stress fracture. We conclude that stress fracture must be considered in the differential diagnosis of pain months or even years after solid fusion at the site of an ankle or triple arthrodesis.
Lidor, C; Ferris, LR; Hall, R; Alexander, IJ; Nunley, JA
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