January 19th, 2019 , The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery

Effects of Cryopreserved Amniotic Membrane-Umbilical Cord Allograft on Total Ankle Arthroplasty Wound Healing (Abstract)

Authors: Bemenderfer TB, Anderson RB, Odum SM, Davis WH


Relatively high rates of wound healing complications continue to be reported with a total ankle arthroplasty (TAA) anterior incision. The amniotic membrane-umbilical cord (AM-UC) allograft is a regenerative orthobiologic adjunct that modulates wound healing by down-regulating inflammation, enhancing local healing and antimicrobial factors, and reducing scar formation. The purpose of this study was to determine whether local application of a cryopreserved AM-UC allograft enhances soft tissue healing after TAA. A total of 104 patients with symptomatic ankle arthritis who failed conservative management underwent standard TAA. At skin closure, patients were allocated to either the treatment (local application of AM-UC) or control (no allograft) group. Demographic data, patient comorbidities, and radiographic findings were collected. The primary outcome was a major complication necessitating reoperation. Secondary outcomes were time to healing, minor complications (i.e., skin dehiscence, local wound care, use of antibiotics), and patient scar assessment. Local application of an AM-UC allograft significantly decreased the overall time to skin healing (28.5 days vs 40 days; p = .03). Two patients required a reoperation for soft tissue wound complications, with no difference (p = 1.00) between the groups. No statistically significant difference was detected in terms of skin dehiscence, local wound care, or antibiotic prescriptions in the 2 groups. Regenerative technology using local application of a cryopreserved AM-UC allograft may enhance TAA outcomes by decreasing the time to healing. Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether an AM-UC allograft enhances soft tissue wound healing and ultimately reduces the incidence of devastating soft tissue complications.

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