Tibiotalar Arthrodesis in the Rheumatoid Foot

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The results of 14 open ankle arthrodeses in 13 patients with rheumatoid arthritis are reviewed. Ten arthrodeses were treated with Charnley compression clamps (six of these were combined with a fibular strut graft). Three had cannulated screws and one had a fibular strut graft and a short leg walking cast. The mean followup time was 41.2 months. There were five nonunions and one delayed wound healing. The results of the patients treated with fibular strut grafts are far better than the results in patients treated with open ankle arthrodesis without grafting procedure. This seems a promising technique in a patient population with rheumatoid arthritis.

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