A review of 60 patients who had undergone ankle fusion for posttraumatic arthritis revealed that 35 (58%) had the procedure performed within the first year after injury. A total of 48 complications occurred in 29 (48%) of the patients. Frequent complications were infection (23%), non-union (23%), inadequate surgical alignment or early loss of position (15%), malunion (12%), and delayed union (7%). The lateral transfibular approach had the highest incidence of complications, and a two-incision approach using the Charnley compression apparatus was the procedure with the fewest complications. Forty-one patients were followed for an average of 7.5 years after operation. Of these, 34 (83%) were satisfied with the procedure. Examination of 30 of the 41 patients at an average of 7.3 years after surgery revealed virtually no subtalar motion but motion of 13 degrees at Chopart's joint. With shoes, patients had a near-normal gait. The roentgenograms revealed a minimum amount of degenerative arthritis at Chopart's joint, which may worsen with time. Varus or valgus angulation of the hind part of the foot was associated with a greater degree of symptoms in the subtalar area as well as the middle of the foot. The neutral position in varus-valgus angulation as well as dorsiflexion-plantar flexion was the optimum position for both men and women. The results of the procedure did not deteriorate with time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine