Successful tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) arthrodesis can be difficult to achieve in patients with bulk bone defects even with the use of femoral head allograft. Retrograde intramedullary nail placement through custom 3-dimensional (3D) spherical implants is an innovative option for these patients. The purpose of this study was to compare fusion rates, graft resorption, and complication rates between patients undergoing TTC fusion with 3D sphere implants versus femoral head allografts. Patients who underwent TTC arthrodesis with an intramedullary nail along with a 3D spherical implant (n = 8) or femoral head allograft (n = 7) were included in this study. The rate of successful fusion of the tibia, calcaneus, and talar neck to the 3D sphere or femoral head allograft was compared between the groups. The rate of total fused articulations was significantly higher in the 3D sphere group (92%) than the femoral head allograft group (62%; p =.018). The number of patients achieving successful fusion of all 3 articulations was higher in the 3D sphere group (75%) than the femoral head allograft group (42.9%, p =.22). The rate of graft resorption was significantly higher in the femoral head allograft group (57.1%) than the 3D sphere group (0%, p =.016). There were no significant differences between the groups in terms of complications. These data demonstrate that the use of a custom 3D printed sphere implant is safe in patients with severe bone loss undergoing TTC arthrodesis with a retrograde intramedullary nail and may result in improved rates of successful arthrodesis.
- 3D printing
- patient specific
- talus avascular necrosis
- tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine