Arthrodesis of the Ankle Secondary to Replacement

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One hundred total ankle arthroplasties were performed in our department between 1974 and 1994, and of these, 21 have been reoperated on with arthrodesis due to septic or nonseptic failures after 6 months to 15 years (median 40 months). Immobilization using a Hoffman external fixator was the dominating method. The total ankles were of six different designs. Sixteen of the 21 patients suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

Four of the 21 ankles did not fuse whereas 17 did: 13 at the first attempt and 4 after repeat arthrodesis. At the time of the review, two patients had died. Of the remaining 15 patients whose ankles had fused, all but one were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the result. Twelve of these 15 ankles rated excellent or good according to the Mazur and Kofoed scoring systems. We conclude that arthrodesis can be performed successfully after a failed ankle arthroplasty.

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