Individual headless compression screws fixed with three-dimensional image processing technology improves fusion rates of isolated talonavicular arthrodesis
The talonavicular joint is a central connection of the human foot. Symptomatic talonavicular arthritis can be adequately addressed by isolated talonavicular fusion. However, non-union remains a relevant clinical challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon. The aim of this study was to analyse the clinicoradiological outcome of talonavicular fusion using angle-stable mini-plates. We performed 30 talonavicular fusions in 30 patients (12 male, 18 female) with a mean age of 58.8 years (range, 22–74) between 2005 and 2007. Osseous joint fusion was achieved using mono- and multidirectional angle-stable mini-plates. The patients followed a standardised immobilisation and weight bearing protocol. The mean postoperative follow up was 15.8 months (6.1–23.8). The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society AOFAS score increased significantly from 31.7 (19–42) to 82.3 points (55–97) (p < 0.001). Neither age at operation nor gender influenced the score results significantly, while the aetiology of talonavicular degeneration showed a significant effect. Mean visual analogue scale (VAS) pain intensity (0–10) reduced from 8.6 to 1.7 (p < 0.001). Good or excellent results were achieved in 26 patients, while two patients reported fair and another two poor results. Complete osseous fusion was observed at a mean of 10.9 weeks (8–13) postoperatively. For the treatment of talonavicular arthritis, the application of mono- and multidirectional angle-stable mini-plates provided a strong fixation that led to high union rates and good to excellent overall outcome.