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Lower Limb

Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis

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We reviewed 116 patients who underwent 118 arthroscopic ankle arthrodeses. The mean age at operation was 57 years, 2 months (20 to 86 years). The indication for operation was post-traumatic osteoarthritis in 67, primary osteoarthritis in 36, inflammatory arthropathy in 13 and avascular necrosis in two. The mean follow-up was 65 months (18 to 144). Nine patients (10 ankles) died before final review and three were lost to follow-up, leaving 104 patients (105 ankles) who were assessed by a standard telephone interview. The pre-operative talocrural deformity was between 22° valgus and 28° varus, 94 cases were within 10° varus/valgus. The mean time to union was 12 weeks (6 to 20). Nonunion occurred in nine cases (7.6%). Other complications included 22 cases requiring removal of a screw for prominence, three superficial infections, two deep vein thromboses/pulmonary emboli, one revision of fixation, one stress fracture and one deep infection. Six patients had a subtalar fusion at a mean of 48 months after ankle fusion. There were 48 patients with excellent, 35 with good, 10 with fair and 11 with poor clinical results.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr D. E. Robinson at Flat 2 Alma House, 25 Alma Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BZ, UK; e-mail: drobinsonfrcs@hotmail.com

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