Foot Ankle Int. 1997 Mar;18(3):138-143
Marsh JL, Rattay RE, Dulaney T
BACKGROUND: Seven patients with supramalleolar nonunions after tibial plafond fractures underwent ankle arthrodesis combined with surgical treatment of the nonunion.
METHODS: Stabilization of the nonunion and the ankle consisted of medial and lateral plating for two hypertrophic cases and medial external fixation for five atrophic cases. Two of the atrophic nonunions were infected, and the distal tibia below the nonunion was resected and distraction osteogenesis from a proximal level was used to fill the resulting defect.
RESULTS: Both the nonunion and ankle arthrodesis healed in six patients in an average of 7.9 months (range, 4-20 months). The nonunion failed to heal in one patient and required a below-knee amputation. The average cost of care was $66,491 per patient. Before surgery, the average patient ankle score was 25 (range, 15-50), and at a median of 35 months’ follow-up the average score was 64 (range, 18-79 months). Three patients had scores in the “good” range, two in the “fair” range, one in the “poor” range, and one was rated a treatment failure. The SF-36 scores were significantly lower than age-matched population-based normal subjects.
CONCLUSION: Limb salvage was possible in six of these seven patients, but the treatment times were long, complications frequent, and the cost of care high.
Copyright © 1997 (Foot Ankle Int. Mar;18(3):138-143) by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Inc., originally published in Foot & Ankle International, and reproduced here with permission.