Background and purpose Total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) has gained popularity in recent years. If it fails, however, salvage arthrodesis must be reliable as a rescue procedure. We therefore investigated the clinical, radiographic, and subjective outcome after salvage arthrodesis in a consecutive group of patients, and concentrated on the influence of the method of fixation on union rate and on salvage in inflammatory joint disease. Patients and methods Between 1994 and 2005, salvage arthrodesis was performed on 18 ankles (18 patients). Diagnosis was inflammatory joint disease (IJD) in 15 cases and osteoarthritis (OA) in 3. Tibio-talar fusion was performed in 7 ankles, and tibio-talocalcaneal fusion in 11. Serial radiographs were studied for time to union. Clinical outcome at latest follow-up was measured by the AOFAS score, the foot function index (FFI) and by VAS scores for pain, function, and satisfaction. Results Blade plates were used in 7 ankles (4 IJD, 3 OA); all united. Nonunion developed in 7 of the 11 rheumatic ankles stabilized by other methods. 11 patients (8 fused ankles, 3 nonunions) were available for clinical evaluation. Their mean AOFAS score was 62 and mean overall FFI was 70. VAS score for pain was 20, for function 64, and for satisfaction 74. The scores were similar in united and non-united ankles. Interpretation Blade plate fixation is successful in salvage arthrodesis for failed TAA. A high nonunion rate was found after salvage ankle arthrodesis in IJD with other methods of fixation. Clinical results were fair to good.
Doets, H. C., & Zürcher, A. W. (2010). Salvage arthrodesis for failed total ankle arthroplasty: Clinical outcome and influence of method of fixation on union rate in 18 ankles followed for 3-12 years. Acta Orthopaedica, 81(1), 142–147. https://doi.org/10.3109/17453671003628764