A retrospective study was carried out of 48 patients who underwent ankle arthrodesis for traumatic arthritis from January 1967 through January 1976. Following ankle fusion, the most common complaint was subtalar pain and the most frequent finding was limitation of subtalar motion (56%). Subtalar or triple arthrodesis was required in 12 patients, with good results in the majority of the cases. An infection rate of 22% was encountered, felt to be consequent to the failure to properly employ prophylactic antibiotics; which, when employed, were associated with less than 6% incidence of sepsis 69% of patients were improved from their status before ankle arthrodesis; 12% had come to belowknee amputation (three for resistant pain, two for chronic osteomyelitis, and one for vascular insufficiency). Fusion of the subtalar joint seems curative, and early mobilization of the subtalar joint by ankle fusion techniques that do not immobilize the entire foot may play a preventive role.
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