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Outcome After Operative Fusion of the Tarsal Joints: A Systematic Review

      Abstract

      Arthrodesis of 1 or more joints of the hindfoot is performed to treat severe functional impairment due to pain, deformity, and/or instability. Evaluation of the results of hindfoot arthrodesis from the published data has been difficult owing to the great variety of pathologic entities and surgical techniques reported in the studies. A comprehensive search for relevant reports, reference lists, and citation tracking of the included studies was conducted using the PubMed®, Embase®, and CINAHL® databases. The studies had to have been prospective, included patients with hindfoot problems, evaluated arthrodesis of 1 or more tarsal joints, and had at least 1 of the following primary clinical outcome parameters: pain, function, or complications. Two of us independently selected the relevant studies using predefined criteria and graded the quality of evidence using a 0 to 9 star scale according to the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A total of 16 prospective case series were included; 5 studies scored 6 stars, 8 scored 5 stars, 2 scored 4 stars, and 1 scored 3 stars. A best evidence synthesis was performed, and improvement in function and pain was found for 3 combinations: talonavicular arthrodesis for rheumatoid arthritis, triple arthrodesis for rheumatoid arthritis, and subtalar arthrodesis for post-traumatic arthritis showed good results for pain and function, the last especially when performed arthroscopically. The best evidence syntheses revealed good results for pain and function for these disease-operative technique combinations.

      Level of Clinical Evidence

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