Knee Arthrodesis with the Wichita Fusion Nail: An Outcome Comparision

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Abstract

The Wichita Fusion Nail® (WFN®) is a knee arthrodesis stabilization system that employs compression via an intramedullary rod. It was designed for use in the salvage of the irretrievably failed total knee arthroplasty and other severe knee pathologies. Questionnaires covering the fusion success rate, fusion time, and complication rate were obtained from 33 surgeons who were among the first to use the device. Data from these questionnaires were analyzed to determine if the rate of successful fusion was close to 100%, which was the primary hypothesis of this study. The average time required to achieve fusion and the rate of complications were also calculated and compared to similar results available in the literature. The results for 44 selected patients were included and it was determined that all achieved fusion for a success rate of 100%. This compared favorably with reported success rates in the range of 54% to 96%. The average fusion time was 15.5 weeks. Complications included: six delayed unions, three deep infections, and two periimplant fractures for a major complications rate of 20.4%. Both the fusion times and complication rate compared favorably with other reported results. Surgeons using the device for the first time had outcomes equal to those of more experienced users. Our results demonstrated that a rate of successful arthrodesis close to 100% could be consistently achieved with the WFN.® Overall, the WFN® facilitated an improved outcome for a previously difficult procedure.

Level of Evidence: Therapeutic study, level IV (case series). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of level of evidence.

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