A 3-portal approach for arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2009 Jul;17(7):830-4. doi: 10.1007/s00167-009-0795-z. Epub 2009 Apr 17.


We present a 3-portal approach for arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis with the patient in the prone position. The prone position allows the use of the two standard posterior portals and it allows for accurate control of hindfoot alignment during surgery. Furthermore, the introduction of talocalcaneal lag screws is easy with the patient in this position. In addition to the standard posterior portals, an accessory third portal is created at the level of the sinus tarsi for introduction of a large diameter blunt trocar to open up the subtalar joint. Due to the curved geometry of the posterior subtalar joint, removal of the anterior articular cartilage is impossible by means of the posterior portals only. An advantage of the 3-portal approach is that ring curettes can be introduced through the accessory sinus tarsi portal to remove the articular cartilage of the anterior part of the posterior talocalcaneal joint. Arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis in patients with a talocalcaneal coalition presents a technical challenge as the subtalar joint space is limited. The 3-portal technique was successfully used in three subsequent patients with a talocalcaneal coalition; bony union of the subtalar arthrodesis occurred at 6 weeks following surgery. With the 3-portal technique, a safe and time-efficient arthroscopic subtalar arthrodesis can be performed even in cases with limited subtalar joint space such as in symptomatic talocalcaneal coalition.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrodesis / instrumentation
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Calcaneus / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery*
  • Prone Position / physiology
  • Radiography
  • Talus / surgery
  • Tarsal Joints / diagnostic imaging
  • Tarsal Joints / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome