Surgical treatment of chronic retrocalcaneal bursitis

Johannes I Wiegerinck, Aimee C Kok, C Niek van Dijk
Arthroscopy 2012, 28 (2): 283-93

PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the results of surgical treatments for chronic retrocalcaneal bursitis (RB).

METHODS: Medline, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), Embase, and the Cochrane Library (1945 to December 2010) were systematically searched for the following terms: calcaneal AND (prominence OR exostosis) OR ((retrocalcaneal OR calcan(*)) AND (burs(*) OR exosto(*) OR prominence)) OR Haglund[tw] OR Haglund's[tw] OR ((retrocalcaneal OR calcan(*)) AND (ostectom(*) OR osteotom(*) OR resect(*))). Therapeutic studies on 10 or more subjects with RB were eligible. Quality was assessed by use of the GRADE scale and Downs and Black scale.

RESULTS: Of 876 reviewed abstracts, 15 trials met our inclusion criteria evaluating 547 procedures in 461 patients. Twelve trials reported an open surgical technique; three studies evaluated endoscopic techniques. Differences in patient satisfaction favored the endoscopic technique. The complication rate differed substantially, favoring endoscopic surgery over open surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: There are many different surgical techniques to treat RB. Regardless of technique, resecting sufficient bone is essential for a good outcome. Even though the level of evidence of included studies is relatively low, it can be concluded that endoscopic surgery is superior to open intervention for RB. More evidence is a necessity to be more conclusive regarding the best surgical treatment.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, systematic review of Level III and IV studies.

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