Biologic Augmentation of Tibiotalocalcaneal Arthrodesis With Allogeneic Bone Block Is Associated With High Rates of Fusion

Alain E. Sherman*, Mitesh P. Mehta, Rusheel Nayak, Muhammad Y. Mutawakkil, Jason H. Ko, Milap S. Patel, Anish R. Kadakia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The orthopaedic conditions and systemic comorbidities that occur in patients who require bone block tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) arthrodesis have made this procedure associated with a higher-than-normal risk of nonunion, graft collapse, hardware failure, and amputation. Here, we present a novel approach to bone block TTC arthrodesis using adjunctive osteoinductive agents and a prolonged course of protected weightbearing to assess if we could improve on historical outcomes. We also evaluated the efficacy of a vascularized medial femoral condyle (MFC) free flap to augment TTC arthrodesis. Methods: Fourteen adult patients underwent bone block TTC arthrodesis biologically augmented with fresh-frozen femoral head allograft, bone marrow aspirate concentrate, and demineralized bone matrix cortical fibers. Three patients with soft tissue defects underwent vascularized reconstruction with an MFC free flap. Radiographic union, the Foot Function Index (FFI), and PROMIS pain interference (PI), and physical function (PF) scores were assessed at follow-up. Results: TTC fusion was documented on plain radiograph in 13 of 14 patients (92.9%) and CT in 10 of 11 patients (90.9%). Mean time to fusion was 183.2 ± 83.2 days. One patient (7.1%) experienced nonunion and persistent infection requiring amputation. Patients who underwent vascularized bone grafting had significantly shorter time to fusion (112.3 ± 31.7 days vs 204.4 ± 82.7 days, P =.05). Patient-reported outcomes revealed mild to moderate pain and dysfunction after 1 year (mean FFI = 41.0% ± 23.1%, PROMIS PI = 58.3 ± 1.8, PROMIS PF = 39.0 ± 2.2). Conclusion: In this relatively small series, the biologic augmentation of bone block TTC arthrodesis with osteoinductive agents and protective weightbearing resulted in excellent rates of fusion, modest pain, and preserved function of the lower extremity in almost all those treated. Osseous healing appears to be enhanced and accelerated with application of an MFC flap. We believe that this approach offers a viable salvage option for these challenging clinical problems. Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • arthrodesis
  • hindfoot
  • medial femoral condyle free flap
  • orthobiologics
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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