Retrograde intramedullary nailing for ankle arthrodesis

Foot Ankle Int. 1995 Jul;16(7):433-6. doi: 10.1177/107110079501600710.


This is a retrospective study of retrograde intramedullary rodding for ankle arthrodesis in 19 ankles in 16 patients. The preoperative diagnosis of 16 patients was diabetic neuropathic arthropathy in seven patients, rheumatoid arthritis in three patients, post traumatic arthrosis in three patients, paraplegia with fixed equinovarus of the foot in two patients, and avascular necrosis of the talus in one patient. Retrograde intramedullary rodding for ankle arthrodesis was done as a salvage procedure in each patient. Fourteen of the 19 ankles had radiographic evidence of solid arthrodesis. In the four patients with five ankles with pseudarthrosis, no case was clinically significant. There was one deep infection and one broken rod. Thirteen of the 16 patients are ambulatory, and nine required either an ankle-foot orthosis or shoe modification. The standard method of ankle fusion using crossed cancellous screws is the procedure of choice because it preserves the subtalar joint. Retrograde intramedullary rodding for ankle arthrodesis should be considered for patients with significant posttraumatic arthrosis and bone loss following distal tibial plafond fractures, concomitant subtalar arthrosis, severe osteopenia, such as in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, or neuropathic arthropathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / surgery
  • Arthrodesis / adverse effects
  • Arthrodesis / instrumentation
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / surgery
  • Bone Nails* / adverse effects
  • Bone Screws
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / etiology
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / surgery
  • Humans
  • Joint Diseases / etiology
  • Joint Diseases / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices
  • Osteonecrosis / surgery
  • Paraplegia / complications
  • Pseudarthrosis / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shoes
  • Subtalar Joint / surgery
  • Surgical Wound Infection / etiology
  • Talus / surgery
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery