Ankle arthrodesis in patients with haemophilia-associated ankle arthropathy - does the technique influence the outcome?


Haemophilia; ankle arthrodesis

Published online: May 03 2022

Nemandra A. Sandiford, Fabian Wong, Diane L. Back, Oliver Chan

From the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom


Management of symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) of the ankle in patients with haemophilia can be challenging. Arthroscopic ankle arthrodesis has been shown in non-haemophiliac patients to provide similar or superior rates of fusion to open ankle fusion. However, the literature regarding ankle arthrodesis in patients with haemophilia is limited. Our aim was to compare the rate of successful fusion between open and arthroscopic assisted ankle arthrodesis in patients with haemophilia. A retrospective study was performed. All patients with haemophilia who underwent ankle arthrodesis at our centre were included. Outcomes including peri- and post-operative complications, and lengths of stay were extracted from patients’ records. Radiographs were reviewed for signs of successful arthrodesis.

Seventeen arthrodesis procedures were performed in 13 patients between 1980 and 2017. Nine procedures were performed arthroscopically and eight were open. Ten patients were diagnosed with haemophilia A and three with haemophilia B. The success rates of arthroscopic and open tibiotalar arthrodesis were 100% and 87.5% respectively. Four complications occurred. In the open technique group, there was one non-union. The same patient also developed subsequent haematoma after revision surgery. One patient developed a superficial wound infection which resolved with antibiotics. In the arthroscopic group, one patient developed a pseudoarthrosis of the distal tibiofibular joint which required a revision procedure. The results of this study suggest that arthroscopic ankle fusion for haemophilia- associated arthropathy is a viable option, with the rate of successful fusion being comparable to open procedures.