[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Syndesmotic rupture is present in 10 % of ankle fractures and must be recognized and treated to prevent late complications. The method of fixation is classically rigid fixation with one or two screws. Knowledge of the biomechanics of the syndesmosis has led to the development of new dynamic implants to restore physiologic motion during walking. One of these implants is the suture-button system. The purpose of this paper is to review the orthopaedic trauma literature, both biomechanical and clinical, to present the current state of knowledge on the suture-button fixation and to put emphasis on the advantages and disadvantages of this technique. Two investigators searched the databases of Pubmed/Medline, Cochrane Clinical Trial Register and Embase independently. The search interval was from January 1980 to March 2011. The search keys comprised terms to identify articles on biomechanical and clinical issues of flexible fixation of syndesmotic ruptures. Ninety-nine publications met the search criteria. After filtering using the exclusion criteria, 11 articles (five biomechanical and six clinical) were available for review. The biomechanical studies involved 90 cadaveric ankles. The suture-button demonstrated good resistance to axial and rotational loads (equivalent to screws) and resistance to failure. Physiologic motion of the syndesmosis was restored in all directions. The clinical studies (149 ankles) demonstrated good functional results using the AOFAS score, indicating faster rehabilitation with flexible fixation than with screws. There were few complications. Preliminary results from the current literature support the use of suture-button fixation for syndesmotic ruptures. This method seems secure and safe. As there is no strong evidence for its use, prospective randomized controlled trials to compare the suture-button to the screw fixation for ankle syndesmotic ruptures are required.
Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction 10/2012;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ankle fractures are one of the most frequently encountered musculoskeletal injuries, and 10% of patients have a concomitant distal tibiofibular syndesmotic disruption necessitating surgical repair. A national survey was conducted to gain more insight into the current approaches in the management of syndesmotic injuries in the Netherlands.
A postal survey was sent to one or two staff members of the trauma and orthopaedic surgery departments in each of the 86 hospitals in the Netherlands. Questions concerned the pre-, per- and postoperative strategies and the different ideas on the type, number and placement of the syndesmotic screw.
A total of 85.2% of the trauma surgeons and 61.9% of the orthopaedic surgeons responded (representing 87% of all hospitals). Syndesmotic injury was judged mainly using the 'Hook test'. Syndesmotic injuries in a Weber-B ankle fracture were treated with one screw in 81.2% of cases and in Maisonneuve injuries mainly with two screws. The 3.5-mm screw was used most frequently over three cortices at 2.1-4.0cm above the tibial plafond. Removal of the syndesmotic screw was routinely done by 87.0% of surgeons, mostly between 6 and 8 weeks. Of all respondents, 62.3% showed interest in participating in a randomised controlled trial comparing standard removal with removal on indication.
Compared with previous surveys our survey is more complete, has the highest response rate and has almost national coverage. Most individual items reviewed compare well with current literature, except for the routine removal of the syndesmotic screw, which might not be encouraged from a literature point of view. For this reason, the results of the current survey will be used in the development of a multicentre randomised controlled trial comparing the functional outcome in routine removal of the syndesmotic screw compared with removal on indication.