Mid-term follow-up of patients with hindfoot arthrodesis with retrograde compression intramedullary nail in Charcot neuroarthropathy of the hindfoot

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AimsHindfoot arthrodesis with retrograde intramedullary nailing has been described as a surgical strategy to reconstruct deformities of the ankle and hindfoot in patients with Charcot arthropathy. This study presents case series of Charcot arthropathy patients treated with two different retrograde intramedullary straight compression nails in order to reconstruct the hindfoot and assess the results over a mid-term follow-up.Patients and MethodsWe performed a retrospective analysis of 18 consecutive patients and 19 operated feet with Charcot arthropathy who underwent a hindfoot arthrodesis using a retrograde intramedullary compression nail. Patients were ten men and eight women with a mean age of 63.43 years (38.5 to 79.8). We report the rate of limb salvage, complications requiring additional surgery, and fusion rate in both groups. The mean duration of follow-up was46.36 months (37 to 70).ResultsThe limb salvage rate was 16 of 19 limbs. Three patients had to undergo below-knee amputation due to persistent infection followed by osteomyelitis resistant to parenteral antibiotic therapy and repeated debridement. Complications including infection, hardware removal, nonunion, and persistent ulcers requiring further intervention were also observed. Postoperative functional scores revealed significant improvement compared with preoperative scores on American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) - Hindfoot scale, Foot Function Index (FFI), visual analogue scale (VAS), and Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS).ConclusionThe use of retrograde intramedullary compression nail results in good rates of limb salvage when used for hindfoot reconstruction in patients with Charcot arthropathy.

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