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7th Congress of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Lisbon - 4-7 June, 2005


Aim: To evaluate the results of management of Char-cot foot and ankle deformities by the use of the Ilizarov apparatus.

Material-Method: This is a retrospective study of 11 cases (9 patients) aged from 39 to 60 years old (mean 44 years), all suffering from Charcot foot neuroarthropathy. All cases showed established midfoot breakdown. In four cases hindfoot deformity coexisted. Three feet were ulcerated. In six cases the Iizarov frame was applied using complex hinges and closed compression fusions were performed, utilizing the bent wire technique. In five cases the correction of the deformities was performed acutely with the use of percutaneous cannulated screws. In the later cases the Ilizarov frame neutralized the former osteosynthesis method. The Ilizarov device remained attached for 8 weeks, regardless the presence of other osteosynthesis hardware. The Maryland Foot score (MFS) was utilized for objective assessment by the physician and the SF-36 questionaire for subjective assessment by the patient.

Results: A statistically significant improvement in MFS and SF-36 score was recorded. In all cases the aim for a stable and painless extremity was achieved. All patients returned to their previous activities and kept using normal shoe wear.

Conclusions: A lot of references are found in the literature describing failure in the treatment of Charcot foot deformity with the use of internal fixation. This is justified by the poor bone quality and decreased bone density of the diabetic and alcoholic patients. The use of tensioned wires in multiple levels provides adequate fixation in cases where a frame is used solely and safe neutralization where a frame is combined with internal fixation.

Theses abstracts were prepared by Professor Roger Lemaire. Correspondence should be addressed to EFORT Central Office, Freihofstrasse 22, CH-8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland.