Open Versus Arthroscopic Ankle Arthrodesis: A Comparison of Subsequent Procedures in a Large Database

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Arthroscopic and open ankle arthrodesis have been compared in very few studies, and no consensus has been reached regarding the incidence of postoperative revision surgery associated with each technique. The purpose of the present study was to compare these 2 approaches for the incidence of postsurgical operations. Patients who had undergone either arthroscopic or open ankle arthrodesis were identified between January 2005 to December 2011 in the PearlDiver™ database using a predetermined algorithm and searched for the following postsurgical operations: revision ankle arthrodesis, midfoot arthrodesis, and hindfoot arthrodesis. In the current database, 7322 cases were performed with an open technique and 1152 arthroscopically. The incidence of revision arthrodesis was not significantly different statistically between the 2 techniques. However, the incidence of subsequent adjacent joint arthrodesis was greater for the open cohort (5.6% versus 2.6%; odds ratio 2.17, 95% confidence interval 1.49 to 3.16). In the open cohort, the incidence of hindfoot arthrodesis was greater than the incidence of midfoot arthrodesis (3.9% versus 1.6%, odds ratio 2.43, 95% confidence interval 1.95 to 3.01). The results showed that although open ankle arthrodesis is more commonly performed, it is associated with a greater incidence of subsequent adjacent joint arthrodesis specifically in the hindfoot.

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