Can Ilizarov joint distraction delay the need for an arthrodesis of the ankle? A preliminary report

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1995 Sep;77(5):720-5.


We applied joint distraction using an Ilizarov apparatus in 11 patients with post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the ankle to try to delay the need for an arthrodesis. Distraction for three months resulted in clinical improvement in pain and mobility for a mean of two years, with an increase in the joint space. We considered that these effects may be produced by the absence of mechanical stress on the cartilage combined with the intra-articular hydrostatic pressures during distraction. We measured these pressures during walking with distraction, and found levels very similar to those reported to improve osteoarthritic cartilage when applied in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Equinus Deformity / complications
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ilizarov Technique*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery*
  • Pressure
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stress, Mechanical