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Long-term outcome of high-energy open Lisfranc injuries: a retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: The outcome of open Lisfranc injuries has been reported infrequently. Should these injuries be managed as closed injuries and is their outcome different?

METHODS: We undertook a retrospective study of high-energy, open Lisfranc injuries treated between 1999 and 2005. The types of dislocation, the associated injuries to the same foot, the radiologic and functional outcome, and the complications were studied. There were 22 patients. Five patients died. One had amputation. Of the remaining 16 patients, 13 men were followed up at a mean of 56 months (range, 29-88 months). The average age was 36 years (range, 7-55 years).

RESULTS: According to the modified Hardcastle classification, type B2 injury was the commonest. Ten patients had additional forefoot or midfoot injury. All patients were treated with debridement, open reduction, and multiple Kirschner (K) wire fixation. All injuries were Gustilo Anderson type IIIa or IIIb. Nine patients had split skin graft for soft tissue cover. Mean time taken for wound healing was 16 days (range, 10-30 days). Ten patients (77%) had fracture comminution. Eight patients had anatomic reduction, whereas five had nonanatomic reduction. Ten of 13 (77%) patients had at least one spontaneous tarsometatarsal joint fusion. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score was 82 (range, 59-100). Nonanatomic reduction, osteomyelitis, deformity of toes, planus foot, and mild discomfort on prolonged walking were the unfavorable outcomes present.

CONCLUSION: In open Lisfranc injuries, multiple K wire fixation should be considered especially in the presence of comminution and soft tissue loss. Although anatomic reduction is always not obtained, the treatment principles should include adequate debridement, maintaining alignment with multiple K wires, and obtaining early soft tissue cover. There is a high incidence of fusion across tarsometatarsal joints.

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