A 24-month follow-up of a custom-made suture-button assembly for syndesmotic injuries of the ankle

Mohamed A. Imam, Ahmed Matthana, Ji Wan Kim, Mohamed Nabil

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4 Citations (Scopus)


In the present retrospective analysis, we introduce a custom suture-button fixation device for acute ankle syndesmotic injuries that allows for early weightbearing without another planned operation for hardware removal. We evaluated 87 consecutive ankles in 87 patients (49 males [56.32%] and 38 females [43.68%]). Of the 87 patients, 15 (17.24%) withdrew or were lost to follow-up, leaving 72 patients (82.76%) in the present study. Their mean age was 35.2 (range 17 to 67) years. Nineteen patients (26.39%) presented with a pure syndesmotic disruption, and 53 (73.61%) had associated malleolar fractures. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society scale score improved significantly from 31.2 ± 4.2 preoperatively to 88.5 ± 5.3 at an average of 24 months postoperatively (p < .0043). Revision was undertaken because of implant failure in 4 ankles (5.56%). Two revisions (2.78%) were performed in 2 ankles because of early weightbearing in the first 2 weeks after surgery. The third patient (1.39%) underwent revision at 5 weeks postoperatively. This syndesmotic reduction failure was attributed to failure of the threads, which was noted at the second surgery. The fourth patient (1.39%), a 66-year-old male, underwent revision at 5 months postoperatively because of persistent infection. An 18-month postoperative radiograph was available for all patients. The medial clear space had significantly decreased, from 8.2 ± 3.1 mm preoperatively to 3.5 ± 2.2 mm at 18 months postoperatively (p < .0344). Likewise, the tibiofibular clear space had decreased significantly, from a mean of 8.8 ± 3.7 mm preoperatively to a mean of 3.7 ± 2.2 mm at 18 months postoperatively (p < .0322). In conclusion, suture-button fixation described in the present report delivered satisfactory functional outcomes and anatomic reduction at minimum of 18 months after surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)744-747
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

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