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Advances in foot and ankle arthroscopy over the last 2 decades have allowed for subtalar joint arthrodesis to be performed arthroscopically. The potential advantages of the arthroscopic technique include higher fusion rates, lower complications, reduced perioperative morbidity, and accelerated rehabilitation. Arthroscopic arthrodesis may, however, not be appropriate in the setting of complex deformity correction or the need for other open procedures. Surgical techniques of arthroscopic subtalar joint arthrodesis are described. Outcomes and complications associated with these procedures are presented, based on a comprehensive literature review. Thirteen Level IV studies of moderate quality were included. Excellent arthrodesis union rates were achieved (average 96%, range 86%-100%), at a weighted average union time of 8.8 weeks (95% confidence interval 7.9-9.7). The overall complication rate was 21% (87/415 feet; range 10%-36.4%). Metal irritation was the most common complication (11.2%), followed by nerve injury (4.2%) and infection (0.9%). Similar fusion rates have been reported when comparing arthroscopic and open arthrodesis. Complication rates are also similar, excerpt for infection, which may be lower with arthroscopy. Three different approaches were used to access the subtalar joint with similar union and complication rates. There was no evidence that the use of bone graft or more than 1 screw improved outcomes. The superiority of arthroscopic subtalar fusion over open techniques cannot be demonstrated by the available studies. Level IV, case series.


Hesham Oshba, Raghda Hasan AboBakr Shaaban, Islam Abdelrahman, Nikolaos Gougoulias. Arthroscopic Subtalar Joint Arthrodesis: Topical Review. Foot & ankle international. 2022 Jan;43(1):131-145

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PMID: 34549616

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