Tibiotalocalcaneal Arthrodesis Using Retrograde Intramedullary Nail Fixation: Comparison of Patients With and Without Diabetes Mellitus

Dane K. Wukich, Brady R. Mallory, Natalie C. Suder, Bedda L. Rosario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Retrograde intramedullary nailing for tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis is a salvage procedure reserved for severe cases of deformity. The aim of the present study was to compare the outcomes of this technique in patients with and without diabetes mellitus (DM). A total of 61 patients with and 56 without DM underwent retrograde intramedullary nailing and had a minimum follow-up period of 12 months. The overall incidence of complication was 45.2%; however, the overall incidence of complications between those with and without DM was not significantly different (odds ratio [OR] 0.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.38 to 1.65, p = .54). Patients with DM had a significantly greater rate of superficial infections (OR 8.3, 95% CI 1.01 to 68.67, p = .03). However, no difference was seen in the rate of deep infection (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.34 to 2.46, p = .83) or noninfectious complications (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.13, p = .09). Successful limb salvage was achieved for 96.8% of the patients with DM and 94.7% of those without DM (. p = .66). A femoral head allograft was used in 32 (27.4%) of 117 patients to substitute for an osseous void. Of the 32 patients who required a femoral head allograft, 21 (67.7%) experienced a complication compared with 32 (37.6%) of 85 patients who did not require a femoral head allograft (OR 3.16, 95% CI 1.35 to 7.41, p = .008). The incidence of patient satisfaction was 80% for patients with DM and 72% for those without DM (. p = .36). Despite a high incidence of complications, limb salvage was accomplished in approximately 95% of patients with complicated deformities. Four patients (6.56%) with DM experienced a tibia fracture; therefore, we now routinely use a 300-mm-long nail for this reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-882
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Charcot foot
  • Complication
  • Fusion
  • Neuropathy
  • Outcomes
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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