Supercharged Free Fibula for Complex Ankle Arthrodesis: A Case Report


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Abstract

We report the successful use of a supercharged free fibula for tibial reconstruction and ankle arthrodesis. A 28-year-old woman underwent resection of a giant cell tumor of the distal tibia and reconstruction using a methyl methacrylate cement spacer 12 years prior. The spacer eroded into her ankle joint causing significant pain with ambulation. Therefore, she required ankle arthrodesis but lacked distal tibia bone stock. The ipsilateral fibula was harvested for reconstruction and transferred on its distal blood supply into the bony tibial defect. The proximal blood supply of the fibula flap was then anastomosed to the posterior tibial vessels to supercharge the blood supply. An Ilizarov was placed for external fixation. The combination of a supercharged free fibula and stable external fixation for tibial reconstruction led to timely bony union and ambulation, as well as avoiding the potential complications that can occur with other reconstructive options.

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