Revision tibiotalar arthrodesis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Contemporary recommendations for primary and revision ankle arthrodesis favor internal compression techniques involving the use of screw and/or plate fixation. While tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis with internal fixation may be a suitable method of salvage for the treatment of a failed tibiotalar arthrodesis in selected patients, ring external fixation has been reported as an alternative. We reviewed our experience with revision tibiotalar arthrodesis, with a focus on ring external fixation. METHODS: Forty-five consecutive patients underwent revision tibiotalar arthrodesis with use of repeat internal fixation (eleven patients), ring external fixation (twenty-two patients), or tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis (twelve patients). Union rates were assessed radiographically, and functional outcome was determined with use of preoperative and postoperative American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot scores. RESULTS: All forty-five patients were available for follow-up at an average of 50.3 months. The average ankle-hindfoot score improved from 31.1 points preoperatively to 65.8 points at the time of the most recent follow-up. At the time of the most recent follow-up, the union rate was 88.9% (forty of forty-five). Fusion was achieved with revision tibiotalar arthrodesis in thirty-six (80%) of forty-five patients, including eight of the eleven patients in the repeat internal fixation group, nineteen of the twenty-two patients in the ring external fixation group, and nine of the twelve patients in the tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis group. Re-revision led to union in four of five patients. The overall union rate for ring external fixation, including revision and re-revision tibiotalar arthrodeses, was 84.6% (twenty-two of twenty-six). The five patients with persistent nonunion following revision ankle arthrodesis opted for transtibial amputation. CONCLUSIONS: Revision tibiotalar arthrodesis leads to satisfactory limb salvage in a majority of patients. Ring external fixation may facilitate clinically acceptable limb salvage in complex cases when methods of internal fixation are limited or even contraindicated.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Easley, ME; Montijo, HE; Wilson, JB; Fitch, RD; Nunley, JA

Published Date

  • June 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 90 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1212 - 1223

PubMed ID

  • 18519313

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-1386

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2106/JBJS.G.00506


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States