Background: Arthrodesis is the most common procedure used to treat end-stage osteoarthritis of the ankle, particularly in patients with difficult conditions such as poor bone quality. While many techniques are available to fuse the ankle, current recommendations favor the use of internal fixation with screws and/or plates. Despite of progress, the complication rate remains a major concern. Non-union is one difficult problem especially with difficult bone conditions, particularly the loss of bone stock on the talar side. Therefore, fusion of the tibiotalar joint is often extended to the talocalcaneal joint to provide sufficient stability. To preserve the subtalar joint, an anterior double plate system for rigid fixation of isolated tibiotalar arthrodesis was developed. This is a preliminary report on the clinical and radiological outcome with this technique.
"In a consecutive series of 29 patients presenting difficult bone conditions, solid fusion was achieved in all ankles. One year after surgery, 25 patients (86%) were satisfied, and all but one patient would have undergone the same surgery again . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ankle arthrodesis is commonly used for the treatment of osteoarthritis or failed arthroplasty. Screw fixation is the predominant technique to perform ankle arthrodesis. Due to a considerable frequency of failures research suggests the use of an anatomically shaped anterior double plate system as a reliable method for isolated tibiotalar arthrodesis. The purpose of the present biomechanical study was to compare two groups of ankle fusion constructs - three screw fixation and an anterior double plate system - in terms of primary stability and stiffness.
Six matched-pairs human cadaveric lower legs (Thiel fixated) were used in this study. One specimen from each pair was randomly assigned to be stabilized with the anterior double plate system and the other with the three-screw technique. The different arthrodesis methods were tested by dorsiflexing the foot until failure of the system, defined as rotation of the talus relative to the tibia in the sagittal plane. Experiments were performed on a universal materials testing machine. The force required to make arthrodesis fail was documented. For calculation of the stiffness, a linear regression was fitted to the force-displacement curve in the linear portion of the curve and its slope taken as the stiffness.
For the anatomically shaped double-plate system a mean load of 967N was needed (range from 570N to 1400N) to make arthrodesis fail. The three-screw fixation method resisted a mean load of 190N (range from 100N to 280N) (p=0.005). In terms of stiffness a mean of 56N/mm (range from 35N/mm to 79N/mm) was achieved for the anatomically shaped double-plate system whereas a mean of 10N/mm (range from 6N/mm to 18N/mm) was achieved for the three-screw fixation method (p=0.004).
Our biomechanical data demonstrates that the anterior double-plate system is significantly superior to the three-screw fixation technique for ankle arthrodesis in terms of primary stability and stiffness.
Foot and Ankle Surgery 09/2013; 19(3):168-72. DOI:10.1016/j.fas.2013.04.006
"Poor bone quality as typically is the case in elderly patients remains a challenge for achieving primary stability for both external and internal fixation. Newer techniques with rigid plate fixation have shown superior results but may be associated with a higher risk of soft tissue complications or need for hardware removal due to discomfort [13, 48, 49]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: End-stage osteoarthritis of the ankle is a disabling problem, particularly in elderly patients who experience an overall loss of mobility and functional impairment and who then need compensatory adaption. Ankle arthrodesis, which has been demonstrated to provide postoperative pain relief and hindfoot stability, leaves the patient with a stiff foot and gait changes. For elderly patient, these changes may be more critical than generally believed. Additionally, the long duration of healing and rehabilitation process needed for ankle arthrodesis may be problematic in the elderly. In contrast to ankle arthrodesis, total ankle replacement has significant advantages including a less strenuous postoperative rehabilitation and preservation of ankle motion which supports physiological gait. Recently, total ankle replacement has evolved as a safe surgical treatment in patients with end-stage ankle osteoarthritis with reliable mid- to long-term results. Total ankle replacement needs less immobilization than arthrodesis and does allow for early weight-bearing and should be considered as a treatment option of first choice in many elderly patients with end-stage osteoarthritis of the ankle, especially in elderly patients with lower expectations and physical demands.
Journal of aging research 06/2012; 2012(7):345237. DOI:10.1155/2012/345237
"It seems appropriate to inform presumptive patients that the probability of retaining an ankle arthroplasty of modern design for 10 years is about 80%. They should also be informed that when a total ankle replacement fails, there is the possibility of performing a successful ankle arthrodesis by various methods: intramedullary nailing through a femoral head autograft (Thomason and Eyres 2008), anterior plating (Plaass et al. 2009, Berkowitz et al. 2011), or the use of an intramedullary nail through a trabecular metal implant (Henricson and Rydholm 2010). Caution can no doubt be recommended with posttraumatic cases and with younger patients, especially younger women with osteoarthritis. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is an ongoing need to review large series of total ankle replacements (TARs) for monitoring of changes in practice and their outcome. 4 national registries, including the Swedish Ankle Register, have previously reported their 5-year results. We now present an extended series with a longer follow-up, and with a 10-year survival analysis.
Records of uncemented 3-component TARs were retrospectively reviewed, determining risk factors such as age, sex, and diagnosis. Prosthetic survival rates were calculated with exchange or removal of components as endpoint-excluding incidental exchange of the polyethylene meniscus.
Of the 780 prostheses implanted since 1993, 168 (22%) had been revised by June 15, 2010. The overall survival rate fell from 0.81 (95% CI: 0.79-0.83) at 5 years to 0.69 (95% CI: 0.67-0.71) at 10 years. The survival rate was higher, although not statistically significantly so, during the latter part of the period investigated. Excluding the STAR prosthesis, the survival rate for all the remaining designs was 0.78 at 10 years. Women below the age of 60 with osteoarthritis were at a higher risk of revision, but age did not influence the outcome in men or women with rheumatoid arthritis. Revisions due to technical mistakes at the index surgery and instability were undertaken earlier than revisions for other reasons.
The results have slowly improved during the 18-year period investigated. However, we do not believe that the survival rates of ankle replacements in the near future will approach those of hip and knee replacements-even though improved instrumentation and design of the prostheses, together with better patient selection, will presumably give better results.
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