Relationship Between the Lateral Plantar Artery and the Retrograde Intramedullary Nail During Tibiotalar and Subtalar Arthrodesis: A Fresh Cadaveric Study.

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Tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) arthrodesis with retrograde intramedullary nailing has become established. Iatrogenic injury to the vasculature (eg, lateral plantar artery [LPA] pseudoaneurysm) during insertion of the nail has been reported. The aim of this study was to identify the safe zone that avoids injury to the LPA during TTC arthrodesis.The retrograde lateral curved nail entry point should be in line with the midpoint of the tibial medullary canal and the lateral column of the calcaneus. Enhanced 3-dimensional computed tomography scans of 26 fresh cadaveric feet were assessed. The closest distance between the LPA and the edge of the nail entry point was measured in the plantar view.The closest mean distance between the LPA and the edge of the nail entry point was 6.7 mm for all 26 feet, 12.8 mm for 3 feet (11.5%) in which the LPA did not cross the medial wall of the calcaneus, 8.1 mm for 9 (34.1%) in which the point where the LPA crossed the medial wall of the calcaneus was anterior to the center of the nail entry point, and 4.2 mm for 14 (53.8%) feet in which this point was posterior to the center of the nail entry point.Care should be taken to avoid the LPA during reaming at the nail entry point, especially when the point where the LPA crosses the medial wall of the calcaneus is posterior to the center of the nail entry point.IV, cadaveric study.

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