Ankle arthrodesis for failed total ankle replacement

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006 Aug;88(8):1032-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B8.17627.


Between 1999 and 2005, 23 failed total ankle replacements were converted to arthrodeses. Three surgical techniques were used: tibiotalar arthrodesis with screw fixation, tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis with screw fixation, and tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis with an intramedullary nail. As experience was gained, the benefits and problems became apparent. Successful bony union was seen in 17 of the 23 ankles. The complication rate was higher in ankles where the loosening had caused extensive destruction of the body of the talus, usually in rheumatoid arthritis. In this situation we recommend tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis with an intramedullary nail. This technique can also be used when there is severe arthritic change in the subtalar joint. Arthrodesis of the tibiotalar joint alone using compression screws was generally possible in osteoarthritis because the destruction of the body of the talus was less extensive. Tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis fusion with compression screws has not been successful in our experience.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / surgery
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement / methods*
  • Bone Nails
  • Bone Screws
  • Calcaneus
  • Female
  • Foot Joints / diagnostic imaging
  • Foot Joints / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Subtalar Joint / pathology
  • Talus
  • Tibia
  • Treatment Failure