[Treatment of complex fractures of the ankle and their sequellae using trans-plantar intramedullary nailing]

E Gagneux, F Gerard, P Garbuio, P Vichard
Acta Orthopaedica Belgica 1997, 63 (4): 294-304

UNLABELLED: Nine patients were treated for complex tibial pilon and talus fractures or non unions from 1990 to 1997 using intramedullary nails introduced through the calcaneus. All patients were followed until healing. The average follow-up was 14 months. Failure of the procedure was defined by the occurrence of complications or reintervention. We used a modified Seidel nail in 5 cases, a tibial shaft nail in 3 cases, and a special nail in one case. All nails but two were locked.

CASES: These arthrodeses were performed for treatment of sequels from open talus fractures. Transplantar nailing was performed between 9 months and 3 years after arthrodesis, because of non union. In two cases fusion was obtained at 3 and 8 months postoperatively. In the third case non union occurred due to instability of fixation (the nail was unlocked). Replacement by an interlocked nail was performed through a proximal tibial approach, and healing was obtained in 6 months. PSEUDARTHROSES: 2

CASES: These two cases presented comminuted tibial pilon and open talus fractures in association with vascular and tendon lesions. They had previously undergone debridement and external fixation. Transplantar nailing was performed 8 and 10 months after trauma using a locked modified Seidel nail. Radiographic fusion was obtained in 5 months. PRIMARY SURGERY: 4

CASES: The first two cases were foot reimplantations after traumatic amputation. Skeletal stabilization was obtained using a transplantar locked tibial nail. Revascularization attempts failed and an amputation was performed on the fourth day in one case. The reimplantation succeeded in the second case. Radiographic fusion was obtained in 2 months. The third case was a distal tibial shaft fracture. The patient was an obese mentally deficient and invalid woman. Bone union was achieved in four months. The last case was a primary arthrodesis for post-trauma necrosis of the talus. Radiographic fusion was observed 45 days after operation. Transplantar locked nailing offers an optimal stabilization for complex ankle fractures. We had two failures not related with the principle of the technique. We think that transplantar nailing is best indicated to obtain tibiotalar or tibiocalcaneal arthrodesis and to treat compound ankle fractures. Another indication could be distal tibial shaft fractures in invalid or mentally deficient patients.

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