Charcot neuroarthropathy is a complication of neuropathy often secondary to diabetes mellitus and most commonly affects the midfoot. In these patients, reconstruction of the foot may be required for limb salvage. A superconstruct technique has previously been described using intramedullary beaming fixation of the midfoot and hindfoot to span the zone of injury. Inclusion of the subtalar joint in the arthrodesis construct is not consistently performed among different surgeons. The aim of this study was to describe midfoot beaming constructs and postoperative complications after midfoot reconstruction with and without subtalar arthrodesis. We reviewed medical records of patients who underwent midfoot Charcot reconstruction with an intramedullary beaming superconstruct. Patients included in the study had at least 3 months of follow-up and had Sanders-Frykberg II/III classification of Charcot neuroarthropathy. Postoperative radiographs were evaluated for evidence of hardware failure at the latest follow-up evaluation. The main variables of interest were: hardware failure or nonunion requiring revision operation, deep infection, and unplanned reoperation. Thirty patients who underwent midfoot reconstruction were included. The mean follow-up was 67.4 ± 25.9 weeks. Twenty-two (73.3%) patients had concomitant subtalar arthrodesis and midfoot beaming. Overall complications were lower in patients with subtalar arthrodesis (40.9%) than those without subtalar arthrodesis (75%) resulting in an odds ratio of 0.271 (0.042-1.338, p = .146). Furthermore, increased number of screws used in the midfoot construct was negatively correlated with complications (r = −0.44, p = .01). An intramedullary midfoot beaming superconstruct with subtalar arthrodesis has previously been proposed to provide better fixation after midfoot beaming Charcot neuroarthropathy reconstruction. Our results suggest including the subtalar joint as part of a superconstruct for the reconstruction of Sanders-Frykberg II/III Charcot results in an 80% lower complication rate than intramedullary beaming alone. We also found an increased number of screws used in the midfoot results in a lower complication rate.
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Published online: July 17, 2020
Funding Disclosure: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Conflict of Interest: Dr Wukich received royalties from Arthex and is a consultant for Orthofix and Wright Medical; Dr Raspovic is a consultant for Orthofix; and Dr Liu is a consultant for Gramercy Orthopaedics and Orthofix.
© 2020 by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. All rights reserved.