Complications after tendon transfers in the foot and ankle using bioabsorbable screws

Thomas O Clanton, Alex A Betech, Aaron M Bott, Lauren M Matheny, Braden Hartline, Travis W Hanson, William C. McGarvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tendon transfers are commonly used for correction of pathology or deformity of the foot and ankle. Bioabsorbable implants have been developed as an alternative to metal interference screws. The purpose of this study was to document complications following tendon transfers of the foot and ankle using bioabsorbable poly-L-lactide interference screws.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was used to identify patients in whom either of the 2 senior authors had performed a tendon transfer of the foot and ankle using a bioabsorbable interference screw between 1999 and 2005. A minimum of 6 months of follow-up was required for inclusion in the study. In all, 31 patients were identified who met the inclusion criteria with an average follow-up of 75 weeks. All screws were made of poly-L-lactide (PLLA).

RESULTS: Complications were identified in 12 (39%) of patients. All of the complications reported were known complications of the tendon transfer procedure itself, and were not directly related to the bioabsorbable screw.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on these early results, PLLA implants appear safe and effective for tendon transfers of the foot and ankle. However, until long-term outcomes are available, judicious use of these implants is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-90
Number of pages5
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Absorbable Implants
  • Achilles Tendon
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle
  • Arthritis
  • Bone Screws
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyesters
  • Rupture
  • Tendinopathy
  • Tendon Transfer
  • Journal Article


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