Author(s): Monroe MT, Beals TC, Manoli A nd
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Abstract Thirty consecutive patients underwent arthrodesis of the ankle using rigid internal fixation with cancellous screws between 1992 and 1996. One patient died of causes unrelated to the surgery before bony union. Primary fusion occurred in 27 of the remaining 29 patients (93\%). The average time to primary union was 9 weeks. Two patients developed a delayed union and were treated with an additional bone-grafting procedure. Ultimately, each of the 29 patients went on to fusion. Use of tobacco during the postoperative period had no apparent effect on the rate of fusion or time to fusion. Twenty-five patients were available for clinical evaluation at an average of 24 months after surgery. Subjective evaluation using questionnaires revealed a high level of satisfaction. All patients stated that they would undergo the procedure again. The mean postoperative score on the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot Scale was 81 points, compared with 48 points preoperatively (of a possible 100). Constant pain was the reason given by all patients for seeking treatment. After the arthrodesis, pain was reported as absent in 13 and occasional in 12 patients. All patients noted less pain in the hindfoot after fusion of the ankle. Active litigation and Workers' Compensation claims during the perioperative period had a significant negative effect on scores on the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot Scale and seemed to decrease patients' perceived ability to return to work.
This article was published in Foot Ankle Int
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis