Primary Arthrodesis for Diabetic Ankle Fractures
Grote, Caleb W.
Birt, Mitchell C.
Horton, Greg A.
Scholarly/refereed, publisher version
Copyright The Author(s) 2020. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
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Background: Treatment of ankle fractures in patients with diabetes is associated with increased complication rates. Ankle arthrodesis is considered a salvage procedure after failed ankle fracture fixation, yet primary ankle arthrodesis has been proposed as a treatment option for patients with significant diabetes-related complications. To date, the characteristics of patients who undergo primary ankle arthrodesis and the associated outcomes have not been described.Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 13 patients with diabetes who underwent primary arthrodesis for traumatic ankle fracture. Patient demographics were characterized in addition to their diabetes complications, Adelaide Fracture in the Diabetic Ankle (AFDA) score, and fracture type. Outcomes assessed included reoperation rates, infection rates, wound complications, nonunion/malunion, amputation, and development of Charcot arthropathy postoperatively.Results: Patients who underwent primary arthrodesis had high rates of diabetes complications, average AFDA scores of 6.4, and high rates of severe injuries, including 38.5% open fractures and 69.2% fracture dislocations. The overall complication rate for primary arthrodesis of ankle fractures in diabetes patients was more than 75% in this cohort. Complications included a 38.5% reoperation rate, 38.5% infection rate, 53.8% wound complication rate, and 23.1% amputation rate. Despite a high nonunion rate at the attempted fusion sites, 89.9% of fractures healed and patients had a stable extremity.Conclusion: This review is the first to characterize the epidemiology and complications of diabetes patients undergoing primary ankle arthrodesis for ankle fractures. In this cohort, patients with multiple diabetic complications and severe injuries underwent primary arthrodesis, which led to an overall high complication rate. Further research is needed to determine the appropriate treatment option for these high-risk patients, and tibiotalocalcaneal stabilization without arthrodesis may be beneficial.
A grant from the One-University Open Access Fund at the University of Kansas was used to defray the author's publication fees in this Open Access journal. The Open Access Fund, administered by librarians from the KU, KU Law, and KUMC libraries, is made possible by contributions from the offices of KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research. For more information about the Open Access Fund, please see http://library.kumc.edu/authors-fund.xml.
Grote CW, Tucker W, Stumpff K, Birt MC, Horton GA. Primary Arthrodesis for Diabetic Ankle Fractures. Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics. January 2020. doi:10.1177/2473011420908841
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