A 2-screw fixation technique for subtalar joint fusion: a retrospective case series introducing a novel 2-screw fixation construct with operative pearls
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A variety of fixation methods are used in fusion of the subtalar joint (STJ) including 1 screw and 2 screw constructs. The rate of union is generally high for STJ fusion, regardless of the fixation method, provided the joint surfaces have been properly prepared and compressed and the patient avoids premature stress on the fusion site. Certain populations are known to have an increased risk of nonunion or delayed union including diabetics, smokers, and those undergoing revision of failed fusion. In this high-risk patient population, we propose that our novel 2-screw construct might have advantages over traditional fixation constructs without identified disadvantages. The technique is simple enough to be used in all primary and revision STJ fusion procedures, and this has become our practice. In the present study, 15 feet in 15 consecutive patients who underwent STJ fusion using a novel 2-screw fixation construct were retrospectively reviewed to assess the fusion outcome and complications. Specifically, we offer a novel 2-screw construct that offers the stability of the traditional parallel 2-screw construct while maintaining a maximum raw bone surface area at the posterior facet achieved by single-screw fixation. A retrospective review of radiographs taken 10 weeks postoperatively indentified a 100% fusion rate (15 of 15). All patients in our series achieved fusion, including several high-risk cases, and no significant complications were identified.
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