The Mini-Arthrotomy Ankle Arthrodesis: A Review of Nine Cases

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The authors report on the retrospective follow-up of 9 patients (6 women and 3 men) who underwent a mini-arthrotomy ankle arthrodesis by means of small incisions for exposure, cartilage resection, and internal fixation with crossed interfragmental compression screws. Patients were kept non–weight-bearing in a short leg cast for 12 weeks postoperative. At a mean follow-up of 55 months, outcomes were assessed by clinical examination, radiographs, and patient satisfaction questionnaires. Fusion was obtained in all patients, and there were no cases of delayed union, infection, or cutaneous compromise. Modified American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle and hindfoot rating scale scores significantly improved (P < .001) from a mean of 38 points preoperatively to 72 points at follow-up. A categorical assessment of functional ability in the postoperative period revealed 6 patients graded as excellent, 2 as good, and 1 as fair. In regard to a categorical assessment of clinical outcome in the postoperative period, 7 patients were graded as excellent and 2 as good. All of the patients stated that they were satisfied with their results and would undergo the procedure again. The mini-arthrotomy ankle arthrodesis with crossed interfragmental compression screw fixation appears to be a useful alternative to traditional open arthrodesis for selected patients with ankle arthritis.

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