Tibiocalcaneal Arthrodesis Using a Simple External Fixator

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Abstract

Tibiocalcaneal arthrodesis has been a salvage option for conditions with extensive loss of the talar body. In conditions that preclude the use of internal fixation, external compression arthrodesis has been the preferred technique to achieve fusion about the hindfoot. Since Sir John Charnley elucidated the technique of compression arthrodesis using compression clamps, various modifications and techniques of external compression arthrodesis have been described. Various clinical and biomechanical studies have established the superiority of triangular transfixation in external compression arthrodesis. We have described a simple technique of compression arthrodesis after the principle of triangular transfixation using easily available hardware from Ilizarov instrumentation. This technique is relatively inexpensive in terms of the cost of the materials, uses a modular construct, and allows multiplanar correction of the hindfoot. It can be used intraoperatively to distract the hindfoot joints, especially in the presence of fibrosis and poor skin conditions. We believe this device can be a reasonable alternative to the conventional external fixation techniques for tibiocalcaneal arthrodesis.

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