Between 1987 and 1994, we treated 33 patients with surgical revision for failed triple arthrodesis, 28 (29 feet) of whom returned for final examination (mean, 4.4 years; range, 2-7 years). The average age of these 16 women and 12 men was 46 years (range, 14-69 years). Before the revision procedure, patients had undergone nonoperative therapies for an average of 3.7 years (range, 0.5-12 years) and an average of three foot operations (range, 1-6 operations) after the primary triple arthrodesis. All patients were managed with rigid internal fixation via cannulated screws and power staples. Calcaneal osteotomy and/or revision of the transverse tarsal arthrodesis via appropriate saw cuts and bone wedges were used. Iliac crest bone graft was added, when a bone block arthrodesis was required, for those patients with nonunion or ankle impingement. Arthrodesis was achieved in all 29 feet, although 4 patients (4 feet) (14%) required additional procedures for malunion (2 patients), deformity recurrence (1 patient), deep infection (1 patient), and skin graft (1 patient). Comparison of the average pre- (retrospective) and postoperative American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society 94-point hindfoot and ankle scores showed a significant improvement: 31 points (range, 13-61 points) versus 59 points (range, 24-91 points), respectively (P < 0.05). On a scale of 0 to 10 points, average patient satisfaction was 7.8 points (range, 2-10 points). This study demonstrated a satisfactory improvement in patient outcome after surgical correction of failed triple arthrodesis. We conclude that such a revision, although complex, may be attempted to establish a plantigrade foot free of infection and able to wear shoes without and orthosis or brace.
Copyright © 1997 (Foot Ankle Int. Sep;18(9):580-585) by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Inc., originally published in Foot & Ankle International, and reproduced here with permission.