Hindfoot arthrodesis for neuropathic deformity

Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2007 Mar;23(3):120-7. doi: 10.1016/S1607-551X(09)70386-9.


Acquired neurologic disorders of the foot lead to arthrosis, deformities, instabilities, and functional disabilities. Hindfoot arthrodesis is the current option available for irreducible or nonbraceable deformities of neuropathic feet. However, the role of ankle arthrodesis in these patients has been questioned because of high nonunion and complication rates. From 1990 to 2001, 17 cases of acquired neuropathic foot deformities were treated by four tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) arthrodeses and 13 ankle arthrodeses. TTC arthrodesis was performed on cases with combined ankle and subtalar arthritis or cases whose deformities or instabilities could not be corrected by ankle fusion alone. There was no nonunion of TTC arthrodesis and seven ununited ankle arthrodeses were salvaged by two TTC-attempted arthrodeses and five revision ankle-attempted arthrodeses. Eventually in these cases, there was one nonunion in TTC arthrodesis and one nonunion in revision ankle arthrodesis. The final fusion rate was 88% (15 of 17 cases) with average union time of 6.9 months (range, 2.5-18 months). The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle hindfoot functional scores were evaluated: one was excellent (5.8%), seven were good (41%), eight were fair (53.3%), and one was poor (5.8%) in terms of total functional outcome. We conclude that TTC arthrodesis is indicated for cases with ankle and subtalar involvement and ankle arthrodesis is an alternative for cases with intact subtalar joint. We recommend revision ankle arthrodesis if the ankle fails to fuse and the bone stock of the talus is adequate. TTC arthrodesis is reserved for ankles with poor bone stock of the talus with fragmentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Female
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paralysis / surgery