In this retrospective study, using the prospectively collected database of the AO-Documentation Centre, we analysed the outcome of 57 malunited fractures of the ankle treated by reconstructive osteotomy. In all cases the position of the malunited fibula had been corrected, in several cases it was combined with other osteotomies and the fixation of any non-united fragments. Patients were seen on a regular basis, with a minimum follow-up of ten years. The aim of the study was to establish whether reconstruction improves ankle function and prevents the progression of arthritic changes. Good or excellent results were obtained in 85% (41) of patients indicating that reconstructive surgery is effective in most and that the beneficial effects can last for up to 27 years after the procedure. Minor post-traumatic arthritis is not a contraindication but rather an indication for reconstructive surgery. We also found that prolonged time to reconstruction is associated negatively with outcome.





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