Radiographic Evaluation of Isolated Continuous Compression Staples for Akin Osteotomy Fixation

Published:November 24, 2022DOI:


      Continuous compression implants (nitinol staples) are gaining popularity secondary to their lower profile, less demanding technique, and less surgical dissection. Biomechanical support exists; however, clinical data is limited in the foot/ankle. This study's purpose is to determine the efficacy of nitinol staples to achieve stable, bony healing in Akin osteotomies and examine their clinical outcomes, complications, re-operations, and pain scores. We performed a retrospective chart review on 90 patients (93 osteotomies) who underwent an Akin osteotomy using a nitinol staple over a two-year period. Radiographs were randomized and independently reviewed by three blinded foot and ankle surgeons. Osteotomies were deemed healed if greater than 50% of the osteotomy contained bridging bone, partially healed as less than 50% bridging bone, and nonunion as no healing, broken hardware, or loss of reduction. Visual analog scale pain scores were analyzed. Radiographic union was seen in 98.9% of Akin osteotomies (92/93), with no loss of reduction or broken staples (0/95). Only 3.2% (3/93) of patients returned to the operating room unplanned: one infection (1.1%), one symptomatic hardware removal (1.1%), and one traumatic disruption of fixation (1.1%). Post-operative pain scores were significantly lower than pre-operative. Staples are lower profile and technically less demanding compared to headed screws, plates, and tension band constructs. They offer continuous compression of the osteotomy and are rigid enough to maintain reduction. Based on the findings of this paper, the use of staples provides robust and stable fixation for Akin osteotomies and has low complication and high healing rates.

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