In patients with asymmetric (varus or valgus) ankle osteoarthritis, realignment surgery is an alternative treatment to fusion or total ankle replacement in selected cases. To determine whether realignment surgery in asymmetric ankle osteoarthritis relieved pain and improved function, we clinically and radiographically followed 35 consecutive patients with posttraumatic ankle osteoarthritis treated with lower leg and hindfoot realignment surgery. We further questioned if outcome correlated with achieved alignment. The average patient age was 43 years (range, 26-68 years). We used a standardized clinical and radiographic protocol. Besides distal tibial osteotomies, additional bony and soft tissue procedures were performed in 32 patients (91%). At mean followup of 5 years (range, 3-10.5 years), pain decreased by an average of 4 points on a visual analog scale; range of ankle motion increased by an average of 5 degrees . Walking ability and the functional parts of the American Foot and Ankle Society score increased by an average of 10 and 21 points, respectively, and correlated with achieved reversal of tibiotalar tilt and the score of Takakura et al. Revision surgery was performed in 10 ankles (29%), of which three ankles (9%) were converted to total ankle replacement. We believe the data support realignment surgery for patients with asymmetric ankle osteoarthritis.
The precise localisation of osteoarthritic changes is crucial for selective surgical treatment. Single photon-emission CT-CT (SPECT-CT) combines both morphological and biological information. We hypothesised that SPECT-CT increased the intra- and interobserver reliability to localise increased uptake compared with traditional evaluation of CT and bone scanning together. We evaluated 20 consecutive patients with pain of uncertain origin in the foot and ankle by radiography and SPECT-CT, available as fused SPECT-CT, and by separate bone scanning and CT. Five observers assessed the presence or absence of arthritis. The images were blinded and randomly ordered. They were evaluated twice at an interval of six weeks. Kappa and multirater kappa values were calculated. The mean intraobserver reliability for SPECT-CT was excellent (kappa = 0.86; 95% CI 0.81 to 0.88) and significantly higher than that for CT and bone scanning together. SPECT-CT had significantly higher interobserver agreement, especially when evaluating the naviculocuneiform and tarsometatarsal joints. SPECT-CT is useful in localising active arthritis especially in areas where the number and configuration of joints are complex.
Compared with MRI, SPECT-CT provides additional information and influences the decision making of OCL treatment. For thorough diagnostic evaluation in OCLs, performing both MRI and SPECT-CT is recommended. Further clinical investigation is needed to see if SPECT-CT in addition to MRI results in improved treatment outcomes.
Achilles tendon ruptures (ATR) are becoming the most frequent tendon rupture of the lower extremity, whereas less than 100 cases of tibialis anterior tendon ruptures (TATR) have been reported. Common in both tendons are the degenerative causes of ruptures in a susceptible tendon segment, whereas traumatic transections occur at each level. Triceps surae and tibialis anterior muscles are responsible for the main sagittal ankle range of motion and ruptures lead to a distinctive functional deficit. However, diagnosis is delayed in up to 25% of ATR and even more frequently in TATR. Early primary repair provides the best functional results. With progressive retraction and muscle atrophy delayed tendon reconstruction has less favourable functional results. But not all patients need full capacity, power and endurance of these muscles and non-surgical treatment should not be forgotten. Inactive patients with significant comorbidities and little disability should be informed that surgical treatment of TATR is complicated by high rates of rerupture and surgical treatment of ATR can result in wound healing problems rarely necessitating some kind of transplantation.
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