Minimally-invasive treatment of intra-articular fractures of the calcaneum

J Stulik, J Stehlik, M Rysavy, A Wozniak
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume 2006, 88 (12): 1634-41
We describe the results of 287 intra-articular fractures of the calcaneum in 247 patients treated by minimally-invasive reduction and K-wire fixation between 1994 and 2003. There were 210 men (85%) and 37 women (15%). The most common cause of injury was a fall from a height in 237 patients (96%). Fracture classification was based on the method described by Sanders and Essex-Lopresti. All patients were operated on within 21 days of injury and 89% (220) within 48 hours. The reduction was graded as nearly anatomical (less than 2 mm residual articular displacement and satisfactory overall alignment) in 212 (73.9%) fractures. There were 20 cases (7%) of superficial pin-track infection and five (1.7%) of deep infection. All healed at a mean of 6 weeks (3 to 19). Loss of reduction was observed in 13 fractures (4.5%) and a musculocutaneous flap was needed in three (1%). The results were evaluated in 176 patients (205 fractures) with a mean age of 44.3 years (13 to 67), available for follow-up at a mean of 43.4 months (25 to 87) using the Creighton-Nebraska Health Foundation Assessment score. The mean score was 83.9 points (63 to 100). There were 29 (16.5%) excellent, 98 (55.7%) good, 26 (14.8%) fair and 23 (13%) poor results. A total of 130 patients (73.9%) were able to return to their original occupation at a mean of 5.6 months (3.2 to 12.5) after the injury. Semi-open reduction and percutaneous fixation is an effective treatment for displaced intra-articular fractures of the calcaneum.

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