Controversy exists regarding the surgical treatment of unstable ankle fractures in the very elderly age group of over 80 years. However, the literature regarding the prognosis of surgery in this elderly group is limited. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the results of patients above 80 years old who underwent operative fixation for unstable ankle fractures.
Ninety-two consecutive patients, 80 females and 12 males, above 80 years of age had open reduction and internal fixation for unstable ankle fractures during the period of January 1998 to August 2007. The data was collected retrospectively from the case records and radiographs. The complications were noted and the risk factors for poor outcome were analyzed. The average age was 85.2 (range, 80.1 to 95.1) years. The minimum duration of followup was 9 months, with an average of 15 (range, 9 to 28) months.
The most common fracture pattern was Danis-Weber B type. The superficial wound infection rate was 7% (6 cases) and the deep infection rate was 4.6% (4 cases). The 30 day postoperative mortality was 5.4% (five cases). Eighty-six percent (75 out of 87 cases) were able to return back to their pre injury mobility at the last followup. Diabetes, dementia, peripheral vascular disease and smoking were found to be statistically significant risk factors associated with wound complications.
The results of operative fixation of unstable ankle fractures were encouraging with good functional recovery and return to pre injury mobility status in most cases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By the year 2035 almost 20% of the US population of 389 million people will be 65 years and older. What this group has, compared with aged populations in the past, is better health, more mobility, and more active lifestyles. From January 1989 through December 2010, a total of 494 elderly patients with 536 foot and ankle injuries were identified. Within this group, 237 (48%) patients with 294 injuries were sustained as a result of a high-energy mechanism. These mechanisms consisted of 170 motor vehicle accidents, 30 as a result of high (not ground level) energy falls, 2 from industrial accidents, and 35 classified as other, which included sports, blunt trauma, bicycle, airplane or boating accidents, crush injuries, and injuries resulting from a lawn mower. The injuries produced were 17 metatarsal fractures, 9 Lisfranc injuries, 10 midfoot (navicular, cuneiform, or cuboid) fractures, 23 talus fractures, 63 calcaneal fractures, 73 unimalleolar, bimalleolar, or trimalleolar ankle fractures, 45 pilon fractures, and 3 pure dislocations of the foot or ankle. Overall, 243 (83%) of these injuries underwent surgical fixation and data have shown that when surgery is used to manage high-energy injuries of the foot and ankle in the elderly individuals, the complications and outcomes are similar to those seen in younger patients. Therefore, the decision for surgical intervention for high-energy injuries of the foot and ankle should be based primarily on the injury pattern and not solely on the age of the patient.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Supination external rotation (SER) injuries are commonly fixed with a one third tubular neutralization plate. This study investigated if a combination locked plate with additional fixation options was biomechanically superior in osteoporotic bone and comminuted fracture models.
Using an osteoporotic and a comminuted Sawbones model, SER injuries were fixed with a lag screw for simple oblique fibula fractures, and either a one third tubular neutralization plate or a locking plate. Samples were tested in stiffness, peak torque, displacement at failure, and torsion fatigue.
There was no statistically significant difference in biomechanical testing for fractures treated with a lag screw and plate. For comminuted fractures, locked plating demonstrated statistically significant stiffer fixation.
A combination locked plate is biomechanically superior to a standard one third tubular plate in comminuted SER ankle fractures. There was no biomechanical superiority between locked and one third tubular plates when the fracture was amenable to a lag screw.
The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 01/2013; 20(1). DOI:10.1016/j.fas.2013.10.004 · 0.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Geriatric patients' (defined as those older than 65 years old) inherent comorbidities, functional limitations, and bone quality present obstacles to successful clinical outcomes for operatively treated supination external rotation (SER) ankle fractures. We retrospectively reviewed a prospectively collected series of SER injuries between 2004 and 2010. This is a comparison of the radiographic and clinical outcomes of our geriatric (27 patients) and nongeriatric (81 patients) populations. We hypothesized that geriatric patients would have worse outcomes when compared to nongeriatric patients.
All SER ankle fractures (176) treated by a single surgeon were enrolled in a prospective database. All patients fulfilled inclusion criteria (108) consisting of 1 year of having clinical follow-up, postoperative radiographs, and Foot & Ankle Outcome Scores (FAOS). The primary outcome evaluated was functional outcome as exhibited by the FAOS. The secondary outcomes included adequacy of reduction, loss of reduction, postoperative complications (wound complications, infection, pain-driven hardware removal), and range of motion.
Despite significantly higher rates of diabetes (P < .001) and peripheral vascular disease (P < .001), there were statistically significantly better FAOS outcomes in the symptoms subcategory among the geriatric population. There was no significant difference in the articular reduction, syndesmotic reduction, wound complications, postoperative infections, or range of motion between these groups.
Geriatric patients exhibited equivalent complication rates, radiographic outcomes, and functional outcomes compared to nongeriatric patients in this series. Anatomic fixation and soft tissue management counter the inherent risks of operative intervention in geriatric populations that report higher rates of comorbidities. This study supports aggressive fracture- and ligament-specific operative intervention in geriatric patients presenting with unstable SER injuries.
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