Complications encountered with circular ring fixation in persons with diabetes mellitus

Dane K. Wukich, Ronald J. Belczyk, Patrick R. Burns, Robert G. Frykberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to identify and report the complications associated with the use of circular ring fixation in diabetic patients, and to compare the frequency of complications in patients without diabetes. We hypothesized that complications with circular ring fixation occurred more frequently in patients with diabetes than patients without diabetes. Materials and Methods: Institutional Review Board approval was obtained and patient charts were retrospectively reviewed from June 2004 and February 2007. Fifty six consecutive patients undergoing midfoot, hindfoot and/or ankle surgery were treated with circular ring fixation which included 33 diabetic patients in the study group and 23 non-diabetic patients in the control group. Patient demographics, the duration of treatment with the external fixator, and complications were recorded. Results: Males had a greater number of complications compared to females (p = 0.0014). The total number of complications was statistically greater in diabetic patients (study group) versus non-diabetic patients (control group) (p = 0.003). In multivariate logistic regression, diabetes and male sex were the only significant variables associated with wire complications (OR 7.35, 95% CI 1.93-28.04 and OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.05-8584111, respectively). Conclusion: Women are protected from wire complications with a risk reduction of 78% compared to males. Diabetics have a 7-fold risk for any wire complication compared to patients without diabetes. We found no adverse effects of BMI, obesity, age, smoking, neuropathy, or Charcot neuroarthropathy on a satisfactory recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1000
Number of pages7
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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