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Subtalar Arthrodesis for Complications of Intra-Articular Calcaneal Fractures

Foot Ankle Int. 2000 May;21(5):392-9.

Flemister AS Jr, Infante AF, Sanders RW, Walling AK.


Eighty six subtalar arthrodeses performed between 1985 and 1996 for complications associated with intra-articular calcaneal fractures were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were divided into three Groups: (I) 59 patients with calcaneal malunions (II) 13 patients with failed open reduction and internal fixation, and (III) eight patients undergoing open reductions and primary fusion for highly comminuted fractures. In each scenario, internal fixation was achieved with cancellous lag screws. Bone graft material consisted of either autogenous iliac crest graft, local graft obtained from the lateral wall exostectomy of the malunion, or freeze-dried cancellous allograft. Fusions in Groups II and III were performed in situ. Fusions in Group I were performed either in situ or utilizing a variety of reconstructive procedures depending upon the type of malunion encountered. Eighty three of the 86 fusion attempts were successful following the initial operations for a union rate of 96%. Fusion rates were similar regardless of the graft material used. Complications included four varus malunions, four cases of osteomyelitis, and two cases of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. A statistically significant shorter hospital stay was found for patients not undergoing iliac crest bone graft procedures. Eighty patients with at least two year follow up achieved a mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot score of 75.0. Scores were similar for all three groups and for the various types of reconstructive procedures used. No correlation was found between postoperative talar declination angle and the AOFAS ankle-hindfoot score. Worker's compensation patients tended to have a poorer clinical outcome.

Copyright © 2000 (Foot Ankle Int. May;21(5):392-9.) by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Inc., originally published in Foot & Ankle International, and reproduced here with permission.