Shagun Cares® Charnley Compression Clamp is an apparatus used to encourage arthrodesis between the ends of two bones on either side of a joint. Parallel pins driven through the bone ends are connected on each side of the joint by bolts bearing wing nuts; tightening of the screw arrangements forces the surfaces of the bones together. [ Sir J. Charnley (1911–82), British orthopaedic surgeon]
In patients with knee infection, arthrodesis by external fixation is a limb-salvage procedure appropriate in highly selected patients. No hardware that might lead to infection is left in situ. However, the fusion rate is limited. Use of a device that applies compression in the coronal plane has been suggested in combination with sagittal external fixation to increase the fusion rate but has not been the focus of published studies. The objectives of this retrospective study were to determine: 1) the fusion rate and, 2) the rate of infection eradication.
Knee arthrodesis using an external fixator and a Charnley Compression Clamp provides higher fusion rates compared to reports of external fixation without compression.
Material and methods
We retrospectively studied 30 patients who underwent knee arthrodesis using external fixation and a compression clamp. The reason for arthrodesis was recurrent infection after total knee arthroplasty in 18 patients and septic arthritis in 12 patients. There were 16 females and 14 males with a mean age of 66.0 ± 11.6 years (range, 30–83 years). Mean follow-up was 42.5 ± 23.6 months (range, 24–106 months).