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Long-term Follow-up of Tibiocalcaneal Arthrodesis in Diabetic Patients with Early Chronic Charcot Osteoarthropathy

      Abstract

      Charcot osteoarthropathy with severe ankle instability and deformity is often managed with below-the-knee amputation if deformity and cutaneous compromise result in osteomyelitis. Recently, some surgeons have reported satisfactory outcomes with ankle arthrodesis in the coalescence or remodeling (subacute and chronic) stages of the disease before the onset of joint instability, severe deformity, and ulcer formation. This observational study describes the clinical outcomes of ankle arthrodesis in a cohort of 45 diabetic patients who underwent unilateral ankle arthrodesis for Charcot neuroarthropathic ankle deformity before the development of ulceration and bone infection. Two (4.44%) of the patients were lost to follow-up, whereas 2 (4.44%) others underwent below-the-knee amputation shortly after the ankle arthrodesis because of postoperative infection. After a mean follow-up duration of 5 ± 2.85 years, 39 (86.67%) patients returned to independent ambulation wearing custom-made shoes with molded insoles, whereas 2 (4.44%) others required pneumatic casts for ambulation.

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