Arthrodesis with a Short Huckstep Nail as a Salvage Procedure for Failed Total Knee Arthroplasty*

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Arthrodesis of the knee with use of a short Huckstep nail was performed in thirty-three patients (thirty-three knees) after failure of a non-constrained total knee arthroplasty. The indication for the arthrodesis was an infection in thirty-one knees and a Charcot joint in two. Three knees had had a failed attempt at arthrodesis with use of external fixation.The Huckstep nail was inserted through the knee, retrograde into the femur, and then antegrade into the tibia. The duration of the operation averaged 104 minutes (range, sixty-five to 155 minutes). Local bone graft was used in all knees. At the time of follow-up, at an average of forty-seven months (range, eighteen to ninety-four months), thirty knees (91 per cent) had radiographic evidence of union. The average time to union was 5.2 months (range, two to ten months) after the arthrodesis. Eight knees that had a grossly purulent infection were treated with débridement, which was followed by the arthrodesis as a second-stage procedure; the other knees had a one-stage arthrodesis. Only one of the thirty-one knees that had had an infection before the arthrodesis had a recurrence after it.Arthrodesis with a short Huckstep nail provides immediate axial and rotational stability and allows weight-bearing without use of external support as well as placement of the knee in a slightly flexed and valgus position. In addition, the nail does not migrate and it may be used even when there is a standard-size prosthesis in the ipsilateral hip.

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