Arthrodesis for the Treatment of Arthrosis of the Ankle and Osteonecrosis of the Talus*


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Abstract

We evaluated the results of arthrodesis that had been performed for arthrosis of the ankle and osteonecrosis of the talus in nineteen patients. Twelve patients were men, and seven were women. The mean age of the patients was thirty-four years (range, nineteen to fifty-eight years). The median interval between the injury and the index operation was twenty-one months (range, six to 408 months). The arthrodesis was performed at the level of the ankle only in three patients and in both the ankle and the subtalar joint in sixteen. External fixation was used in thirteen patients, internal fixation was used in four, and no fixation was used in two. Supplemental bone graft from the iliac crest was used in fourteen patients, and local bone graft was used in five.The mean duration of follow-up was six years (range, two to fifteen years). The clinical result was excellent in seven patients, good in six, fair in three, and poor in three. Union was achieved in sixteen ankles, but it was delayed in one of them. Complications occurred in four patients: one had a tibial stress fracture, one had an infection at the site of a non-union, and two had malalignment in plantar flexion.Overall, the arthrodesis was successful in these patients. The use of rigid fixation and bone-grafting had a rate of success approximating that reported for primary arthrodesis in patients who do not have avascular necrosis.

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