ArticleLiterature Review

Fine Wire Circular Fixation for Displaced Intra-Articular Calcaneal Fractures: A Systematic Review

Authors:
  • Hull University teaching hospitals
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Intra-articular calcaneal fractures represent an ongoing challenge for the orthopedic community, with the benefits of the previous “gold standard” treatment of open reduction and internal fixation having been called into question in several large randomized controlled trials. Fine wire circular fixation may represent a useful alternative treatment for these injuries, combining minimally invasive application with rigid fixation, which allows the possibility of early weight bearing We performed a systematic review of published studies that used circular fixation for calcaneal fractures and recorded functional outcomes at follow-up. In a total of 11 studies with 255 calcaneal fractures for which there was follow-up, our inclusion criteria were met: 8.2% of fractures were bilateral, 11.9% of fractures were open fractures, and 12.6% of patients had multiple orthopedic injuries. Functional outcomes were assessed with the use of a variety of tools across the different studies, but outcomes compared favorably with those seen with open reduction and internal fixation. Although pin site infections were common (22.6%), serious complications, including deep infection (0.8%), wound infection (1.6%), and complex regional pain syndrome (0.8%), were exceedingly rare. The results suggest that this is a viable alternative treatment for calcaneal fractures, but higher-quality randomized controlled trials are required before the technique can enter mainstream use.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Although ORIF is considered the standard treatment choice for displaced intraarticular calcaneal fractures, uncertainty about the final results of surgical and conservative options still exist, as it was reported that, neither offers satisfactory results without the risk of early or delayed complications [8] . ...
... Conservative treatment might be considered in non-displaced or minimally displaced fractures, compromised soft-tissues and in patients with physical contra-indications (e.g., peripheral vascular disease, psychic patient).Open reduction and internal fixation is considered the gold standard treatment for displaced intraarticular fractures of the calcaneus by most surgeons as it generally provides overall good to excellent results and the ability to anatomically restore the subtalar joint. Disadvantages of open surgical approaches are wound dehiscence and infection which may occur in up to 30% of patients [6,7,8]. ...
Article
The Ilizarov method is one of the current methods used in bone reconstruction. It originated in the middle of the past century and comprises a number of bone reconstruction techniques executed with a ring external fixator developed by Ilizarov GA. Its main merits are viable new bone formation through distraction osteogenesis, high union rates and functional use of the limb throughout the course of treatment. The study of the phenomenon of distraction osteogenesis induced by tension stress with the Ilizarov apparatus was the impetus for advancement in bone reconstruction surgery. Since then, the original method has been used along with a number of its modifications developed due to emergence of new fixation devices and techniques of their application such as hexapod external fixators and motorized intramedullary lengthening nails. They gave rise to a relatively new orthopedic subspecialty termed "limb lengthening and reconstruction surgery". Based on a comprehensive literature search, we summarized the recent clinical practice and research in bone reconstruction by the Ilizarov method with a special focus on its modification and recognition by the world orthopedic community. The international influence of the Ilizarov method was reviewed in regard to the origin country of the authors and journal's rating. The Ilizarov method and other techniques based on distraction osteogenesis have been used in many countries and on all populated continents. It proves its international significance and confirms the greatest contribution of Ilizarov GA to bone reconstruction surgery.
Article
Full-text available
PurposeDespite modern operative techniques and a considerable number of studies in the literature, the best treatment for calcaneal fractures remains an enigma for orthopaedic surgeons. The purpose of the study was to compare clinical and radiographic outcomes between anatomic calcaneal plate (ACP) fixation and crossed Schanz pin (CSP) fixation in the treatment of Sanders type II and III displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures (DICFs).Methods Consecutive 65 patients (49 males, 16 females) who underwent surgery for DCIFs between January 2009 and February 2013 were retrospectively evaluated. The patients were divided into two groups as ACP and CSP according to the operative technique. The groups were compared in terms of demographic features, injury mechanism, operation time, fluoroscopy exposure, complications, full weight-bearing time, functional, and radiological outcomes.ResultsVAS-rest score did not differ significantly between the groups while the VAS-activity score was significantly higher in the CSP group (p = 0.001 and p = 0.645, respectively). Foot Function Index (FFI) was significantly lower, Maryland Foot Score (MFS) and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society-hindfoot score (AOFAS) were significantly higher in the ACP group (p = 0.047, p = 0.016, and p < 0.001, respectively). While no difference was observed between the preoperative and the early post-operative (1st day) Böhler angle and Gissane angle, both were significantly higher in the ACP group at the post-operative last control (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively).Conclusion Although crossed Schanz pin fixation shortens the operation time in displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures compared to anatomic calcaneal plate, increased fluoroscopy exposure rates and low functional and radiological outcomes are disadvantageous of crossed Schanz pin. Anatomic calcaneal plate is still a better technique for preserving the alignment and elevating the displaced intra-articular segment for good to excellent mid-term results.
Article
Full-text available
The derangement in calcaneal morphology after a fracture can be significant and is often associated with severe soft tissue envelop problems. Medial calcaneal external fixation is useful for early restoration of calcaneal morphology and the corresponding soft tissue envelop. When performed in a stepwise fashion, external fixation can successfully restore normal calcaneal height, length, width, and coronal plane alignment. For severely displaced joint depression and broken tongue–type calcaneus fractures where open treatment is the preferred strategy, early external fixation restores the normal soft tissue tension, allows a stable environment for soft tissue recovery, and facilitates the definitive operation by restoring and maintaining overall calcaneal architecture. We describe the stepwise approach to calcaneal reduction and external fixation and report a case series demonstrating this method is safe and effective for staged management of severely displaced calcaneus fractures.
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Background: Treatment of displaced intra‐articular calcaneal fractures (DIACFs) is still controversial. Aim: The objective of our study was to assess the capability of using Ilizarov frame as a minimally invasive technique to improve foot function and restore calcaneal length, height, width, and Bohler’s angle in patients with DIACFs. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed forty patients (mean age, 25.4 ± 9.6 years, a mean follow‐up of 44.9 ± 6.9 months) with 48 closed DIACFs who underwent indirect reduction and external fixation using Ilizarov technique. We applied distraction technique through the mechanical axis of the leg and through the foot axis. The drop wire technique was used to restore depressed subtalar fragments. Bone graft was not used. Results: We achieved good alignment in all cases except four feet who had varus deformity. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score was 84.6 ± 5. Superficial pin tract infection occurred in 7 feet. Skin pressure necrosis was seen in 3 feet. Statistically, all radiological measures were improved and significantly different from those measured preoperatively. Conclusion: Closed reduction of DIACFs using Ilizarov frame provides a good functional foot outcome with a low risk of postoperative complications. It also has the capability of restoring normal anatomy of the calcaneus. Keywords: Displaced intra‐articular calcaneal fractures, Ilizarov frame, minimally invasive technique
Article
Full-text available
Category Other Introduction/Purpose Patients are frequently required to maintain a non-weight bearing (NWB) status after foot and ankle surgery in order to prevent post op complications. Adherence to these instructions is of paramount importance and lack of compliance may lead to wound breakdown, loss of fracture fixation, or hardware failure. Unfortunately due to a number of factors, patients are frequently unable to comply with their weight bearing (WB) requirements. Lack of compliance has recently been demonstrated in studies as it relates to either partial or NWB instructions. This study examined rates of non-compliance in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population with results showing an 88% non-compliance rate. We present preliminary data on WB compliance and further seek to identify demographic data and risk factors possibly contributing to this epidemic. Methods Pressure sensing films (70-350 PSI) were used for this study. When pressure is applied, the film turns an intense pink color. After lower extremity surgery is performed patients are placed in a short leg plaster splint. The sensor is placed superficial to the plaster/webril. One sensor is placed beneath both the forefoot and one beneath the hind foot and the splint is then marked with an “S” to indicate study participation. Once the patient follows up, either the attending physician or a certified cast technician will retrieve the sensors for documentation. An additional sensor is placed on a non-weight bearing portion of the anterior tibia to serve as a control. After retrieval of sensors, results are analyzed by at least 4 team members to decide on WB compliance. Pink coloration of 30% or more is considered positive in our study. Results At the time of this abstract, 25 patients had returned for follow up. 22/25 (88%) patients were found to have at least 1 out of 2 sensors positive. 13/25 (52%) had both forefoot and hind foot sensors positive. 3 patients had both sensors without any pressure changes. 5 patients had lost at least 1 sensor. Conclusion To date, 88% of our patients have been found to be non-compliant with their weight bearing status instructions. The results of this study agree with previous studies demonstrating a high rate of non-compliance even after education and instruction. Our study exhibited a higher rate of non-compliance when compared to other studies, possibly due to patient demographics. More data is needed to ascertain the effect of certain risk factors in order to identify the proper method of patient education/instruction and to possibly create a standardized weight bearing compliance educational program.
Article
Full-text available
Controversy exits over the role of Böhler's angle in assessing the injury severity of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures and predicting the functional outcome following internal fixation. This study aims to investigate whether a correlation exists between Böhler's angle and the injury severity of displaced calcaneal fractures, and between surgical improvement of Böhler's angle and functional outcome. Patients treated operatively for unilateral closed displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures from January 1, 2004 to March 31, 2008 were identified. The Böhler's angles of both calcaneus were measured, and the measurement of the uninjured foot was used as its normal control. The difference in the value of Böhler's angle measured preoperatively or postoperatively between the angle of the injured foot and that of the contralateral calcaneus were calculated, respectively. The change in Böhler's angle by ratio was calculated by dividing the difference value of Böhler's angle between bilateral calcaneus by its normal control. The injury severity was assessed according to Sanders classification. The functional outcomes were assessed using American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society hindfoot scores. 274 patients were included into the study with a mean follow-up duration of 71 months. According to Sanders classification, the fracture pattern included 105 type II, 121 type III and 48 type IV fractures. According to American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society hindfoot scoring system, the excellent, good, fair and poor results were achieved in 104, 132, 27, and 11 patients, respectively. The preoperative Böhler's angle, difference value of Böhler's angle between bilateral calcaneus, and change in Böhler's angle by ratio each has a significant correlation with Sanders classification (rs=-0.178, P=0.003; rs=-0.174, P=0.004; rs=-0.172, P=0.005, respectively), however, is not correlated with functional outcome individually. The three postoperative measurements were all found to have a significant correlation with American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society hindfoot scores (rs=0.223, P<0.001; rs=0.224, P<0.001; rs=0.220, P<0.001, respectively). However, these correlations were all weak to low. There was a significant correlation between preoperative Böhler's angle and the injury severity of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures, but only postoperative Böhler's angle parameters were found to have a significant correlation with the functional recovery.
Article
Full-text available
To review postoperative complications reported after closed calcaneus fracture treated by open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). Postoperative complications reported in the literature between 1995 and 2012 were identified. Papers were retrieved from publicly available databases and included in this study if they met the following criteria: clinical research of cases of closed calcaneus fracture treated by ORIF; ≥10 cases; detailed information about complications, treatment and follow up. Twenty-one clinical reports were analysed (2046 cases). Reported complications (and incidence rates) were: infection and skin flap necrosis (13.6%); neurovascular injury (2.8%); post-traumatic arthritis (1.2%); malreduction/implant problems (0.8%); nonunion (0.1%). Postoperative complications after closed calcaneus fracture are common clinical problems that cannot always be avoided. They can even be life altering, due to the requirement for long-term treatment or amputation and their economic impact on the patient. Complications should be diagnosed and treated promptly, to achieve satisfactory outcomes. Nonsurgical treatment (e.g. local wound care, drugs or physical therapy) can be attempted. If such measures fail, surgical treatment (e.g. debridement, skin flap transplantation, implant removal, re-opening of the reduction and internal fixation or subtalar joint arthrodesis) should be considered.
Article
Full-text available
The management of intra-articular calcaneal fractures during the past years has been ranged from the nihilistic approach of no active treatment to open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) or even to early subtalar arthrodesis. The management of such fractures with the use of circular external fixators in a closed fashion or in combination with minimal approach is demonstrated in our study. The midterm results of 36 intra-articular calcaneal fractures treated between 1996 and 2003 with the use of the Ilizarov apparatus according to our modified operative strategy are presented. In treating calcaneal fractures, the classic Essex-Lopresti classification into depression and tongue type has been proved very useful in our hands. While the depression-type fractures can be reduced through skeletal traction and the above-mentioned minimal approach, tongue-type fractures can cause difficulties in reducing and especially maintaining the reduction of the tongue fragment. Especially for these fractures, a combined technique was applied by reducing the fracture with Steinmann pins according to the Essex-Lopresti method and incorporating them into the Ilizarov apparatus. This technique appears to be a lot easier and more accurate than the alternative "bent-wire technique" for reducing and holding down a tongue fragment. The original Essex-Lopresti manipulation alone with plaster immobilization does not allow weight bearing and is associated with regional osteoporosis. Apart from the Essex-Lopresti classification, the material was also categorized by the widely accepted Sanders CT classification for comparison of our results to those of the literature. The SF-36 patient-oriented general health status questionnaire was utilized before, during, and after the treatment period to assess patients' satisfaction levels. We propose this operative strategy as an option for the treatment of all calcaneal fractures.
Article
Full-text available
The use of locked plate technology in the calcaneus has been shown in previous studies to provide greater stability than that of nonlocking plates. The purpose of this study is to examine the radiographic effects of early weight bearing of calcaneal fractures repaired with locked plating. A retrospective review was performed of 17 calcaneal fractures repaired with locked plate fixation over a 2-year period. A chart and radiographic review evaluated the time the patient was kept non-weight bearing and the Bohler's angle at first postoperative visit and final postoperative visit. Change in Bohler's angle was used to evaluate for bone subsidence. Standard reduction and fixation techniques were performed to realign all components of the intra-articular calcaneal fracture using a titanium locking calcaneal fracture plate. Patients returned for follow-up examinations postoperatively and underwent radiographic examination. A weight-bearing short fracture walker boot was applied, and the patient began protected weight bearing at approximately 4 to 5 weeks. The charts and radiographs of 17 intra-articular fractures were reviewed. The average Bohler's angle at first postoperative visit was 30.12° in comparison to the average at final visit of 28.47 °. The average time the patient was kept non-weight bearing after the procedure was 4.8 weeks. The average time of follow-up was 237.7 days. There were no cases of significant bone subsidence or collapse noted. Calcaneal fractures can have significant morbidity associated with the injury and its care. This study examined early weight bearing of calcaneal fractures fixated with locked plating. Under radiographic review, there was no significant loss of calcaneal height, joint reduction, or fixation stability noted. These results are thought to be due to the inherent stability of the locked plate construct.
Article
Full-text available
High energy tibial plateau fractures along with calcaneal fractures individually produce several challenges for the orthopaedic surgeon. The principles of bony reconstruction include anatomic reduction and rigid internal fixation of intra-articular fractures and accurate restoration of the coronal, sagittal and transverse mechanical axes. Due to the tenuous nature of the soft tissue and devitalisation of the comminuted fragments with open reduction, external fixation of type 6 tibial plateau fractures is recommended. We report a case with ipsilateral high energy tibial plateau and calcaneal fractures both of which were managed with an ilizarov ring fixator. A 55-year-old Kashmiri female presented to our department with an ipsilateral fracture of the tibial plateau and the calcaneum. Both were closed reduced and stabilized with an ilizarov ring fixator. The circular wire fixator provides a viable method to manage such fractures especially if they are co existent. This is especially true in situations where the soft tissue is compromised.
Article
Full-text available
Operative therapy of intraarticular fractures of the calcaneus is an established surgical standard. The aim is an accurate reduction of the fracture with reconstruction of Boehler's angle, length, axis and subtalar joint surface. Intraoperative 3D-fluoroscopy with the Siremobil Iso-C 3D(R) mobile C-arm system is a valuable assistant for accurate reconstruction of these anatomical structures. Remaining incongruities can be recognized and corrected intraoperatively. The achieved reduction can be fixed by the advantages of an internal fixator (locked-screw plate interface). In the period of October 2002 until April 2007 we operated 136 patients with intraarticular fractures of the calcaneus by means of anatomical reduction, and internal plate fixator under intraoperative control of 3D-fluoroscopy. All patients were supplied with an orthesis after the operation which allowed weight bearing of 10 kg for 12 weeks for the patients operated between October 2002 and October 2004 (Group A). Transient local osteoporosis was observed in all X-Rays at follow-up after an average of 8,6 months. Therefore we changed our postoperative treatment plan for the patients operated between November 2004 and April 2007 (Group B). Weight bearing started with 20 KG after 6 weeks, was increased to 40 KG after 8 weeks and full weight bearing was allowed after 10 weeks for these patients. In no case a secondary dislocation of the fracture was seen. No bone graft was used. At follow up the average American Foot and Ankle Society Score (AOFAS) were 81 for Group_A, compared to 84 for Group B, treated with earlier weight bearing. Autologous bone graft was not necessary even if weight bearing was started after a period of six weeks postoperatively. The combination of 3D-fluoroscopy with locked internal fixation showed promising results. If the rate of patients developing subtalar arthrosis will decrease by this management will have to be shown in long term follow up.
Article
Full-text available
The treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures is still controversial. Sixteen consecutive patients admitted at University Hospital with intra-articular fractures were treated with fine wire circular frames and followed up at an average of 160 days from their injuries. We focused on radiological outcome and functional outcome using a patient-based questionnaire. We had no secondary reconstruction procedures. With the numbers available, the difference between the preoperative values and the follow-up measurements for Böhler's angle, Gissane's angle and posterior subtalar joint space was not statistically significant (P = 0.8, P = 0.2, and P = 0.4, respectively). The standardized AAOS FAS ranged from 42 to 96, with a mean of 80 and a standard deviation of 19. Fine wire circular frame is a good alternative to ORIF in displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures, yielding good patient function, a high return-to-work rate and a low complication rate.
Article
Full-text available
Twenty five intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus in 25 patients were reduced through a minimal incision and fixed with an Ilizarov external fixator. The average age of patients was 38.6 years (range: 17 to 62 years). According to the Sanders CT classification, 10 (40%) were type II, 9 (36%) type III, and 6 (24%) type IV. The average follow-up was 30 months (range: 24-40 months). According to the AOFAS scale for ankle and hind foot there were 6 (24%) excellent, 11 (44%) good, 6 (24%) fair, and two (8%) poor results. The average score was 68 with a range of 48 to 92. The average length of the treatment period with the fixator was 9.7 weeks (range, 8 to 12 weeks). Radiological assessment revealed reduction malalignment < 5 degrees in 22 cases and > 10 degrees in 3 cases. The calcaneal width averaged 112% of the contralateral side. The calcaneal height was restored to 92% of the normal side, the mean (+/- SD) Böhler angle was changed from 11 degrees +/- 9 degrees preoperatively to 24 degrees +/- 5 degrees postoperatively. The most common complication was superficial skin infection at wire insertion sites. The results with this technique in a small number of non randomised cases with an average follow-up of 2.5 years seem to indicate that it could be a good alternative to traditional methods for management of intraarticular calcaneus fractures, with fewer secondary problems.
Article
Full-text available
In recent years ankle distraction arthroplasty has gained popularity in the treatment of ankle arthritis as a means of both maintaining range of motion and avoiding fusion. We present a retrospective review of 25 patients who have undergone ankle distraction from 1999 to 2006. The mean age was 43 years; 16 were male, and 7 were female. Followup was 30 months after frame removal (range, 12 to 60 months). We were able to obtain followup on 23 of 25 patients. Adjuvant procedures were performed in some cases including Achilles tendon lengthening (5), ankle arthroscopy (4), open arthrotomy (1), and supramalleolar tibial and distal fibular osteotomy to correct distal tibial deformity (6). Twenty-one patients (91%) reported improved pain with those furthest post-op experiencing the best results. The average preoperative AOFAS score was 55 (range, 29 to 82), and the average postoperative score was 74 (range, 47 to 96). The difference between pre- and postoperative scores was significant (p = 0.005). SF-36 scores showed modest improvement in all components. Only two of the patients in the study underwent fusion after ankle distraction. Total ankle motion was maintained in all patients with improvement in the functional arc of motion in five patients who started with mild equinus contractures. We feel that ankle distraction offers a promising solution for many people with ankle arthritis.
Article
Full-text available
We applied joint distraction using an Ilizarov apparatus in 11 patients with post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the ankle to try to delay the need for an arthrodesis. Distraction for three months resulted in clinical improvement in pain and mobility for a mean of two years, with an increase in the joint space. We considered that these effects may be produced by the absence of mechanical stress on the cartilage combined with the intra-articular hydrostatic pressures during distraction. We measured these pressures during walking with distraction, and found levels very similar to those reported to improve osteoarthritic cartilage when applied in vitro.
Article
Full-text available
A minimally-invasive procedure using percutaneous reduction and external fixation can be carried out for Sanders’ type II, III and IV fractures of the os calcis. We have treated 54 consecutive closed displaced fractures of the calcaneum involving the articular surface in 52 patients with the Orthofix Calcaneal Mini-Fixator. Patients were followed up for a mean of 49 months (27 to 94) and assessed clinically with the Maryland Foot Score and radiologically with radiographs and CT scans, evaluated according to the Score Analysis of Verona. The clinical results at follow-up were excellent or good in 49 cases (90.7%), fair in two (3.7%) and poor in three (5.6%). The mean pre-operative Böhler’s angle was 6.98° (5.95° to 19.86°), whereas after surgery the mean value was 21.94° (12.58° to 31.30°) (p < 0.01). Excellent results on CT scanning were demonstrated in 24 cases (44.4%), good in 25 (46.3%), fair in three (5.6%) and poor in two (3.7%). Transient local osteoporosis was observed in ten patients (18.5%), superficial pin track infection in three (5.6%), and three patients (5.6%) showed thalamic displacement following unadvised early weight-bearing. The clinical results appear to be comparable with those obtainable with open reduction and internal fixation, with the advantages of reduced risk using a minimally-invasive technique.
Article
Introduction: Our aim was to compare the effect of Sinus Tarsi Approach (STA) vs Extensile Lateral Approach(ELA) for Treatment of Closed Displaced Intra-Articular Calcaneal Fractures (DIACF.) is still being debated, MATERIALS AND METHODS: A thorough research was carried out in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane library databases from inception to December 2016. Only prospective or retrospective comparative studies was selected in this meta-analysis. Two independent reviewers conducted literature search, data extraction, and quality assessment. The primary outcomes were anatomical restoration and prevalence of complications. Secondary outcomes included operation time and functional recovery. Results: Four randomized controlled trials involving 326 patients and three cohort studies involving 206 patients were included. STA technique for DIACFs led to a decline in both operation time and incidence of complications. There were no significant differences between the groups in American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society scores, nor changes in Böhler angle. Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that STA technique may reduce the operation time and incidence of complications. In conclusion, STA technique is reasonably an optimal choice for DIACF.
Article
Purpose: Rehabilitation after lower-extremity fractures is based on the physicians' recommendation for non-, partial-, or full weight-bearing. Clinical studies rely on this assumption, but continuous compliance or objective loading rates are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the compliance to weight-bearing recommendations by introducing a novel, pedobarography system continuously registering postoperative ground forces into ankle, tibial shaft and proximal femur fracture aftercare and test its feasibility for this purpose. Methods: In this prospective, observational study, a continuously measuring pedobarography insole was placed in the patients shoe during the immediate post-operative aftercare after ankle, tibial shaft and intertrochanteric femur fractures. Weight-bearing was ordered as per the institutional standard and controlled by physical therapy. The insole was retrieved after a maximum of six weeks (28 days [range 5-42 days]). Non-compliance was defined as a failure to maintain, or reach the ordered weight-bearing within 30%. Results: Overall 30 patients were included in the study. Fourteen (47%) of the patients were compliant to the weight-bearing recommendations. Within two weeks after surgery patients deviated from the recommendation by over 50%. Sex, age and weight did not influence the performance (p > 0.05). Ankle fracture patients (partial weight-bearing) showed a significantly increased deviation from the recommendation (p = 0.01). Conclusions: Our study results show that, despite physical therapy training, weight-bearing compliance to recommended limits was low. Adherence to the partial weight-bearing task was further decreased over time. Uncontrolled weight-bearing recommendations should thus be viewed with caution and carefully considered as fiction. The presented insole is feasible to determine weight bearing continuously, could immediately help define real-time patient behaviour and establish realistic, individual weight-bearing recommendations.
Article
Percutaneous and minimally invasive open techniques for the treatment of calcaneal fractures are now frequently used with good results, although a comparison between these different techniques has not yet been performed. The aim of the present review was to search for studies evaluating the outcomes of patients after treatment with percutaneous and minimally invasive open techniques for calcaneal fractures. A search was performed using PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Studies from the previous 15 years in English were included. Data on the Sanders classification, operation technique, infection rate, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot score, radiographic evaluation, and follow-up were extracted. The techniques were divided into 4 groups: minimally invasive open, percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis, external fixation, and other. Forty-six studies were included, with 1776 patients and 2018 calcaneal fractures. Of the 2018 fractures, 924 (46%) were classified as Sanders II, 558 (28%) as Sanders III, and 245 (12%) as Sanders IV; the fractures of 291 patients(14%) were not classified or were classified as complete extra-articular. Of the 46 studies, 15 used a minimally invasive open technique, 19 evaluated the outcome of percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis, 10 investigated the results of an external fixation system, and 2 studies used other operative techniques. The median infection rate was 3% (range 0% to 33%). The median American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot score was 83 (range 67 to 94). The median angle of Böhler postoperatively was 24° (range 14° to 35°) and had increased after operative treatment, with a median of 16° (range 0° to 39°). The percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis and minimal invasive open technique resulted in significantly better outcomes compared with external fixation and other techniques. In conclusion, percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis and minimal invasive open techniques have the best outcomes for the minimal invasive open surgical treatment of calcaneal fractures.
Article
Surgical management of calcaneus fractures is technically demanding and has a high risk of wound complications. These fractures are traditionally managed with splinting until swelling has subsided, which can take weeks and leaves the fracture fragments displaced. We describe a novel protocol for the management of displaced intraarticular calcaneus fractures that utilises a temporising external fixator and staged conversion to plate fixation through a sinus tarsi approach. The goal of this technique was to enable earlier treatment with open reduction and internal fixation, minimise the amount of manipulation required at the time of definitive fixation and reduce the wound complication rate seen with the traditional extensile approach.
Article
This retrospective study investigated outcomes of wound healing in a series of 63 consecutive patients with 64 fractures of the calcaneus who underwent open reduction and internal fixation done by two surgeons experienced in this fracture during a 3-year period. Thirty-nine patients were managed preoperatively as outpatient referrals before surgery. Twenty-four patients were admitted directly to the trauma service and were managed as inpatients preoperatively. Minimum patient follow-up was 6 months, with an average follow-up of 18 months. A trend correlating the time between injury and operative intervention with the incidence of complications in wounds was noted; the incidence rose in patients who underwent surgery >5 days after their injury. Two-layered closures had a lower incidence of dehiscence compared to single-layered tension-relieving sutures. Patients with a higher body-mass index (BMI) (kg/ m2) took longer to heal their wounds. Strong trends were noted to link BMI and severity of fractures. In the outpatient group, a history of active smoking preoperatively correlated with increased time to wound healing. In 43 patients, there were no wound-healing complications. In 21 feet, there were varying degrees of wound dehiscence. Average wound healing took 47 days. Risk factors for complications in the wound after calcaneal open reduction and internal fixation include single layered closure, high BMI, extended time between injury and surgery, and smoking. Age, type of immobilization, medical illness (including diabetes), type of bone graft, or use of a Hemovac did not influence wound healing.
Article
Treating calcaneal fractures nonoperatively versus operatively is controversial. The aim of open reduction is to reduce the articular surface and to restore the calcaneal bone anatomy to recover its function. The disadvantages of open reduction include wound complications, risk of screw penetration of the articular surface and peroneal tendons, and irritation by the fixation plate. We treated 12 patients with Sanders Type 3 calcaneal fractures with poor skin condition persisting for more than 3 weeks, making them unsuitable candidates for typical open reduction and internal fixation. The 12 patients had open reduction of the articular surface of the subtalar and calcaneocuboid joints, then a bone graft using a direct approach to the subtalar joint. The fracture reduction was completed by fixing the calcaneal tuberosity with an Ilizarov external fixation frame and distraction. These outcomes of these 12 patients were compared with outcomes of a control group having the same type of fracture but treated with open reduction and internal fixation. We used the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society scoring system to assess the outcome. Both groups had similar functional and radiographic outcomes. The internal fixation group had a higher complication rate. The llizarov apparatus for reduction and fixation seems to be a safe and effective alternative to open reduction and internal fixation in patients with poor skin condition.
Article
Background: We conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial to compare operative with nonoperative treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures. Methods: Eighty-two patients who presented to five trauma centers from 1994 to 1998 with an intra-articular calcaneal fracture with ≥2 mm of displacement (as verified by computed tomography) were randomized to operative or nonoperative treatment. Independent observers followed the two groups radiographically and clinically at one year and eight to twelve years. The primary outcome measures were a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and function and the self-administrated Short Form (SF)-36 general health outcome questionnaire. The secondary outcome measures were residual pain evaluated with a VAS, the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) scale, and the Olerud-Molander (OM) scale. Results: Forty-two patients in the operative treatment group and forty in the nonoperative group were included. The two groups were comparable with respect to age, sex, and fracture types. Seventy-six patients were available for follow-up at one year and fifty-eight at eight to twelve years. The primary and secondary outcome measures did not differ significantly between the two treatment groups at one year of follow-up. At eight to twelve years of follow-up, there was a trend toward better scores on the patient-reported primary VAS score for pain and function (p = 0.07) and the physical component of the SF-36 (p = 0.06) in the operative group. The prevalence of radiographically evident posttraumatic subtalar arthritis was lower in the operative group (risk reduction, 41%). Conclusions: Operative treatment was not superior in managing displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures at one year of follow-up but appeared to have some benefits at eight to twelve years. Operative treatment was associated with a higher risk of complications but a reduced prevalence of posttraumatic arthritis evident on follow-up radiographs. Level of evidence: Therapeutic level II. See instructions for authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Article
Soft tissue complications are well known after extensile exposure of the calcaneus for open reduction internal fixation of fractures. A variety of recommendations have been proposed to reduce soft tissue healing issues and infection. Despite these recommendations, some surgeons believe that soft tissue complication rates have remained unacceptably high with lateral extensile incisions. Recently, interest in minimally invasive repair techniques for calcaneal fractures has increased. These techniques have been purported to avoid some of the common soft tissue problems seen with calcaneal open reduction internal fixation. The focus of the present communication is to share a minimally invasive surgical method for the reduction and fixation of calcaneal fractures. Percutaneous fixation of the posterior facet fragments can be facilitated by distraction of the fractured calcaneus using skeletal traction and a small bilateral external fixator. Final stability is achieved with a combination of the external fixator and percutaneous screws and/or wires. We present our technique and discuss recent published studies on minimally invasive repair of calcaneal fractures.
Article
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical outcomes after surgery for displaced intra-articular fractures using an external fixator and minimal internal fixation. Methods: In this retrospective observational study, a total of 39 patients (32 [82%] men and 7 [18%] women) with 48 displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures were included. An extended lateral approach was used to stabilize fractures using multiple sagittal plane screws, axial percutaneous threaded Kirschner wires for the frontal fracture plane, and an external fixator for reduction assistance and maintenance. The following variables were assessed: preoperative and postoperative Böhler's angle; calcaneal length, height, and width; postoperative American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scores; and complications. Mean duration of follow-up was 74 ± 26 months. Results: The mean time from surgery to external fixator removal was 12 ± 1 weeks. The mean preoperative Böhler's angle (-3 ± 21 degrees), calcaneal length (7.9 ± 0.6 cm), and calcaneal height (3.6 ± 0.5 cm) were significantly increased (P < .05) at final follow-up (28.3 ± 6.5, 8.3 ± 0.6, and 4.5 ± 0.5, respectively), whereas the mean preoperative calcaneal width (4.2 ± 0.5) was significantly decreased from the final follow-up mean (3.8 ± 0.5). There were no significant differences between any of the normal and postoperative measures. The mean AOFAS score was 82 ± 12. Complications included superficial pin tract infection (n = 7, 15%), superficial wound edge necrosis (n = 4, 8%), and deep infection (n = 2, 4%). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that use of an external fixator with minimal internal fixation is an effective option for treating displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures. Level of evidence: Level IV, retrospective case series.
Article
The technique of percutaneous reduction using an Ilizarov fixator and Steinman pins for comminuted calcaneus fractures complicated by complex soft tissue injuries of the foot is illustrated. The technique is indicated to salvage complex foot injuries not suitable for open reduction and internal fixation. (C) Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.
Article
An abstract is unavailable. This article is available as HTML full text and PDF.
Article
We describe the cadaveric and radiographic anatomy of the medial aspect of the heel from a dissection of 20 heels. We define a ‘safe corridor’ posterior to a line drawn from the superior calcaneal border 2 cm behind the subtalar joint, to a point 2 cm posterior to the sustentaculum tali, and finally to the inferior border of the calcaneum 5 cm behind the calcaneo-cuboid joint. The tendons of the flexor hallus longus, flexus digitorum longus and tibialis posterior were constant in their relationships and closely related to the bony cortex. The medial calcaneal wall anterior to the flare of the tuberosity was covered by the abductor hallucis muscle, separating the bone and the neurovascular bundle in all cases. We recommend blunt dissection for external fixator pin placements on the medial calcaneum, particularly if anterior to the line described above. Internal fixation placed from the lateral aspect of the calcaneum anterior to the line described should not breach the medial cortex outside the safe corridor.
Article
The tibial neurovascular bundle and sural nerve are at risk with errant pin placement during transcalcaneal pin placement. The purpose of this study was to determine a relative safe zone using a single osseous landmark to establish a technique applicable in the presence of trauma. We describe the neural anatomy anatomically and radiographically, giving surgeons a reliable and relatively safe technique for transcalcaneal pin placement. Twenty-four cadavers were dissected for the major medial neurovascular structures and the sural nerve. The closest distance from the neurovascular structures to the posterior inferior calcaneus was measured. The mean distance from the posterior inferior calcaneus to the closest major medial neurovascular structure was 3.4 cm (SD ± 0.36; range, 2.6 to 4.1 cm). The mean distance to the sural nerve was 3.4 cm (SD ± 0.54; range, 2.3 to 4.6 cm). According to the 95% confidence intervals, a relative safe zone of 3.1 cm as a radius from the posterior inferior calcaneus was determined. A relatively safe zone of 3.1 cm based on 95% confidence intervals as described as a radius from the posterior inferior calcaneus can be used for transcalcaneal pin placement in most cases without injury to the medial neurovascular bundle or sural nerve. However anatomic variation may result in the neurovascular bundle being within this zone. We describe a surgical technique for reliable placement of a transcalcaneal pin within this relative safe zone and a safe distance from the closest neurovascular structure.
Article
Many patients with displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures require subtalar arthrodesis for the treatment of posttraumatic arthritis. We hypothesized that patients who underwent initial operative treatment would have better functional outcomes as compared with those who underwent initial nonoperative treatment before undergoing a subtalar arthrodesis. A consecutive series of sixty-nine patients with seventy-five displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures underwent subtalar arthrodesis for the treatment of painful posttraumatic subtalar arthritis. Group A comprised thirty-four patients (thirty-six fractures) who initially were managed with open reduction and internal fixation and subsequently underwent in situ subtalar fusion at an average of 22.6 months later. Group B comprised thirty-five patients (thirty-nine fractures) who initially were managed nonoperatively and had development of a symptomatic painful malunion and subsequently underwent a subtalar distraction arthrodesis. The two groups were similar with respect to age, sex, injury mechanism, and smoking status. All complications were noted and functional outcomes were assessed at a minimum of forty-eight months after fusion. All sixty-nine patients were available for follow-up. The average duration of follow-up was 62.5 months for Group A and 63.5 months for Group B. There were three nonunions of the subtalar fusion requiring revision in each group. Group A had fewer postoperative wound complications and had significantly higher Maryland Foot Scores (90.8 compared with 79.1; p < 0.0001) and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot scores (87.1 compared with 73.8; p < 0.0001) than did Group B. In our study population, better functional outcomes and fewer wound complications were associated with subtalar fusion for the treatment of symptomatic posttraumatic subtalar arthritis after initial open reduction and internal fixation of a displaced intra-articular calcaneal fracture as compared with subtalar arthrodesis for the treatment of symptomatic posttraumatic subtalar arthritis secondary to calcaneal malunion following initial nonoperative treatment.Initial open reduction and internal fixation restores calcaneal shape, alignment, and height, which facilitates the fusion procedure and establishes an opportunity to create a better long-term functional result. We recommend open reduction and internal fixation for the treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures when appropriately indicated.
Article
Intra-articular calcaneal fractures are associated with high morbidity, persistent pain, and long-term disability. This retrospective study assesses early clinical and radiographic postoperative findings of intra-articular calcaneal fractures following treatment by ligamentotaxis using a delta frame construct with a large fragment external fixator. Minimally invasive percutaneous reduction of calcaneal fractures is an alternative treatment for Sanders type II, III, and IV fractures. Ten patients from the Detroit Medical Center were followed between January 2002 and December 2004 for follow-up over a mean of 353.5 ± 85.45 days postoperatively. The mean age of the patients was 45.8 ± 12.3 years. There were 2 patients with Sanders type IIA, 3 patients with type IIIAB, 1 patient with type IIIAC, and 4 patients with type IV fracture patterns. The results demonstrated that the mean calcaneal width decreased, the calcaneal height increased, and the calcaneal length increased when comparing preoperative to postoperative measurements. Böhler's angle increased from 20.8 ± 8.27° preoperatively to 25.7 ± 5.21° postoperatively, and Gissane's angle decreased from 127.4 ± 45.22° preoperatively to 111.2 ± 39.38° postoperatively. The posterior facet step-off on CT examination reduced from 2.6 ± 0.82 mm preoperatively to 0.4 ± 0.26 mm postoperatively. The mean postoperative total subtalar joint range of motion was 19.0 ± 4.5° on the affected side and 34.4 ± 4.58° on the contralateral foot. The mean Maryland Foot score was 85.8 ± 6.41 in the 10 patients. With the exception of the change from preoperative to postoperative Böhler's angle, and the comparison of the ipsilateral (side of the fracture) to contralateral resting calcaneal stance position, all of the comparisons revealed statistically significant (P ≤ .05) differences. The authors conclude that the delta frame construct is a viable alternative method to open reduction and internal fixation for treating intra-articular calcaneal fractures.
Article
We developed a hinged external fixator for the treatment of dislocated intra-articular calcaneus fractures with severe soft tissue damage. The external fixation was performed with a known external fixator system. The screw insertion points were biomechanically tested by defining a virtual rotation axis through the center of the talus to allow early active motion in the ankle joint. Long-term follow-up was performed after an average of 7.3 years. Results were graded with the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score. Radiographs were reviewed according to Sanders classification. Four open fractures and 33 cases with extremely swollen soft tissue, blisters, or compartment syndromes were treated. In 24 cases (64.9%), the hinged fixator was the final method of treatment (group I). A change to open reduction with internal fixation was performed in 13 fractures (35.1%) when soft tissue problems were minimal (group II). There were no late amputations, osteomyelitis, or malunions. According to Sanders classification, group I consisted of 14 type II, 8 type III, and 2 type IV fractures. Pin loosening or pin infection was seen in 4 cases, but there was no redislocation. The Böhler's angle improved in 43%, gaps in the posterior facet were closed in 41%, and any shortening or deviation of the axis was corrected in 82% of the cases. The AOFAS score for the group averaged 66.5. According to Sanders classification, group II consisted of 8 type II and 5 type III fractures. The Böhler's angle improved in 88%, and gaps in the posterior facet were closed in 87%. Any shortening or deviation of the axis was corrected in 95%, and the AOFAS score averaged 61.3. Significant differences in patient outcome scores between open reduction with internal fixation and hinged fixator were not found. P value was > .05. The hinged external fixator frame can be used in all calcaneus fracture types without soft tissue limitation. The hinged fixator allows early movement in the ankle joint, the risk of infection is minimized, and secondary plate fixation remains possible.
Article
Percutaneous pin insertion into the medial calcaneus places a number of structures at risk. Evidence suggests that the greatest risk is to the medial calcaneal nerve (MCN). The medial calcaneal region of 24 cadavers was dissected to determine the major structures at risk. By using four palpable anatomical landmarks, the inferior tip of the medial malleolus (point A), the posterior superior portion of the calcaneal tuberosity (point B), the navicular tuberosity (point C), and the medial process of the calcaneal tuberosity (point D), we attempted to define the safe zone taking into account all possible variables in our dissections including ankle position, side, gender, and possible anatomical variations of the MCN. The commonest arrangement of the MCN was two MCNs that arose independently, one arising before the bifurcation of the tibial nerve and the other arising from the medial plantar nerve. A zone could be defined posterior to 75% of the distance along the lines AB, CD, AD, and CB which would avoid most structures. The posterior branches of the MCN, however, would still be at risk and placing the pin too far posteriorly risks an avulsion fracture. This is the first study to employ four palpable anatomical landmarks to identify a zone to minimize damage to neurovascular structures. It may not be possible, however, to avoid injury of the MCN and consequent sensory loss to the sole of the foot.
The authors present a new method for the treatment of severe thalamic fractures of the calcaneus by the Ilizarov apparatus. The versatility of this apparatus makes it possible to restore the anatomy of the area, in particular, the total height of the talo-calcaneal complex and correction of varus or valgus deviation while leaving the ankle joint free. This method was used to treat 10 cases of severe thalamic fracture. If the apparatus is maintained for at least 3 months there is no subsequent loss of correction and the results are very good.
Article
Numerous controversies surround our understanding of the treatment of intra-articular calcaneal fractures. These include the basic issue of operative versus nonoperative treatment, prognostic factors, the surgical approach, and the method of fixation. In trying to solve some of these issues, we have tried to clarify the question of prognostic factors, while adding to the existing list of controversies by questioning the role or early subtalar range of motion versus early weight bearing. The solution to many of these controversial issues lies in better standardization of classification and evaluation methods and a better understanding of the pathoanatomy so that anatomic reconstruction can be more accurately carried out.
Article
Open reduction and internal fixation techniques do not allow early weight bearing. In an effort to develop a better method to obtain calcaneal fracture reduction and maintain it in the face of early weight bearing, a circular external fixator was applied to seven patients in combination with a limited lateral approach and open reduction and internal fixation of the depressed subtalar joint fragments. The operative technique uses the Ilizarov circular external fixator to obtain a ligamentotaxis reduction, following which the depressed subtalar joint fragments are elevated open; then, the fixator is used to reduce the lateral translation. All displacements of the fracture fragments are corrected. This method proved successful in six patients, all of whom achieved a satisfactory result with anatomic restoration of the subtalar joint and heel. One patient went on to late partial collapse of the posterior facet. Subtalar motion was greater than 50% in four of seven patients. None of the patients complained of heel pad pain, which was attributed to the desensitization of the heel by early weight bearing. This technique has produced encouraging preliminary results in two- to four-year follow-up evaluation.
Article
Placement of a Steinmann pin in the calcaneus is indicated in various orthopaedic conditions. Planning the point of entry and the direction of transcalcaneal pin insertion is crucial for avoidance of neurovascular injury, tendon injury, and subtalar joint violation. Fifteen cadaveric feet were studied in which transfixing calcaneal pins were inserted in posteromedial and anteromedial sites. The posteromedial site was at a point 3/4 the distance between the palpable tip of the medial malleolus and the heel, with the pin inserted transversely. The anteromedial site was at the sustentaculum tali with the pin inserted transversely angled 25 degrees to 30 degrees inferolaterally. Radiographs were then taken and the specimens were dissected to determine the path of each pin and the safe and danger zones for transcalcaneal pin placement. It was concluded that the posteromedial calcaneal pin site is safer and easier to determine.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to discover any associations between preoperative variables and the occurrence of wound complications in the surgical treatment of calcaneus fractures. Retrospective review. A Level 1 trauma center. One hundred seventy-nine patients, with 190 fractured calcanei, were studied. Each patient underwent open reduction and internal fixation for calcaneus fractures with standard techniques. The age, sex, preexisting medical conditions, social history, and mechanism of injury of each patient were recorded. Note was made of the status of the soft tissue injury, if any. The time from injury to surgical stabilization was recorded, as was the type of incision used, use of preoperative antibiotics, and type of wound closure. The patients' records were reviewed for wound complications. These complications were classified as those that could be treated nonsurgically and those that required surgical management. Results: Records from July 1992 to July 1998 showed 179 patients who underwent operative stabilization of a calcaneus fracture. Eleven had bilateral fractures, for a total of 190 fractured calcanei. The average age was thirty-five years. Nine patients were diabetics. One hundred eleven of the patients reported current use of cigarettes. Eighteen of the fractures were open. A standard, L-shaped lateral approach to the calcaneus was used in each case. Stabilization was achieved by using standard techniques, with plates and screws. In all cases, a two-layer wound closure was used. Forty-eight patients (25 percent) developed some form of wound complication. Forty (21 percent) of these required surgical treatment. Statistical analysis identified diabetes (p = 0.02; relative risk 3.4), smoking (p = 0.03; relative risk 1.2), and open fractures (p < 0.0001; relative risk 2.8) as risk factors for wound complication. The presence of more than one risk factor increased the relative risk of a wound complication requiring surgery. Smoking, diabetes, and open fractures all increase the risk of wound complication after surgical stabilization of calcaneus fractures. Cumulative risk factors increase the likelihood of wound complications. Patients who have the risk factors identified in this study should be counseled as to the possible complications that may arise after surgery. In patients with multiple risk factors, consideration should be given to nonsurgical management.
Article
A retrospective review was performed on industrial patients who sustained calcaneal fractures within the State of Idaho during the years 1992 to 1994, and these patients were insured by the Idaho State Insurance Fund. Of 48 calcaneal fractures that occurred during this period, 18 were non-displaced extra-articular fractures and 30 were displaced intra-articular fractures. An independent evaluator contacted each patient and performed chart reviews regarding the work history, period of time off work, and cost incurred with the injury. A total of 24 primary surgical procedures were performed on patients who sustained a displaced intra-articular calcaneal fracture and 31 secondary procedures were performed including wound debridement, hardware removal, skin grafting, and secondary subtalar fusion. For patients whose calcaneal fractures could be treated with non-operative care, the average time from injury until return to work was 18 weeks, and the average total cost of injury was $14,230. For patients whose calcaneal fractures required open reduction and internal fixation, the average time loss from work was 35 weeks, and the average total cost of injury was $31,004. Seven patients whose calcaneal fractures were initially treated with an open reduction, internal fixation later underwent a hindfoot arthrodesis. The average time off work for these patients was 69 weeks and the average total cost of injury was $65,384. Fractures were rated on postoperative radiographs according to the quality of their operative reduction. Fractures that were non-anatomically reduced had an increased tendency to require a subtalar fusion. Nine patients sustained other injuries associated with their calcaneal fracture and three patients sustained an open fracture. Both concurrent injuries and open fractures were associated with increased total cost and increased time off work. The total cost of injury was doubled as was time off work when an open reduction and internal fixation was followed later by a secondary subtalar arthrodesis.
Article
Twenty-three patients with 25 intraarticular fractures of the calcaneus were treated during a 7-year period with minimally invasive open reduction of the posterior facet, external ring fixation, and early weightbearing. Skeletal traction and a minimally invasive lateral approach were used to elevate the posterior facet. Percutaneous wires, which were secured to an external ring fixator, were used to stabilize the reduction. The patients were encouraged to bear weight on the first postoperative day and during the time the fixator was in place. A retrospective chart review was performed and the Maryland Foot Score was used. The patients ranged in age from 22 to 68 years (average, 43.8 years). Using the Sanders computed tomography classification, there were 17 (68%) type II, 6 (24%) type III, and 2 (8%) type IV fracture patterns. Thirty-two percent of the patients were rated excellent, 60% rated good, and 8% rated fair. Subtalar joint motion was >50% of the uninjured foot in 21 of 25 fractures. Eight of 23 patients (35%) experienced diffuse pain in the rear foot, whereas 4 (17%) complained of localized pain in the plantar heel. Few complications were observed, with the most common being superficial skin infection at a wire insertion site. No deep infections developed. The average length of the treatment period with the fixator was 6.6 weeks (range, 5 to 9 weeks). The range of follow-up was 2 to 7 years. The results with this technique indicate that it is a viable alternative to traditional methods of open reduction and internal fixation for the management of intraarticular fractures of the calcaneus.
Article
The current treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures has been surgical fixation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of indirect reduction with Ilizarov external fixation as a viable alternative in the surgical treatment of certain calcaneal fractures. Thirty-one patients with 33 fractures of the calcaneus (Sanders types II, III, and IV) were treated using small wire circular external fixation. A limited percutaneous plantar skin incision was used to improve reduction of the posterior facet. Fractures were evaluated by preoperative CT scans and classified by an independent observer. Patients were evaluated by physical examination as well as by the AOFAS hindfoot score questionnaire. Followup ranged from 6 months to 4 years. The average AOFAS score for 18 patients available for examination was 66 (42 to 92). The average score increased to 74 for patients with more than 10 months followup and to 77 for patients with isolated calcaneal fractures. Open fractures also had early debridement and soft-tissue coverage; no deep infections were seen in this subgroup. There were 11 complications, including nine superficial pin track infections, one superficial skin necrosis under an area of fracture blister, and one deep infection in a diabetic smoker with severe hemorrhagic fracture blisters. All superficial infections responded to local pin or wound care and oral antibiotics. No secondary reconstructive procedures, including osteotomies, subtalar fusions, or amputations, have been done. All open fractures healed and maintained soft-tissue coverage. Indirect reduction and external fixation is a viable surgical alternative for intra-articular calcaneal fractures. Particularly favorable results were obtained in open fractures when soft-tissue reconstruction also was done. Advantages include shorter time to surgery, immediate weightbearing, minimal invasiveness, few serious wound problems, and no residual hardware. Disadvantages include technical difficulty, incomplete reduction of fracture fragments, and the need for secondary surgery (fixator removal).
Article
Treatment of severely comminuted calcaneal fractures with soft tissue compromise is still a controversial issue among surgeons. Complications of open reduction internal fixation have been well reported in the literature with a fairly high incidence of posttraumatic osteoarthritis of the subtalar joint, symptomatic hindfoot stiffness (especially when fixed in varus), wound dehiscence, and potential for the development of osteomyelitis caused by the extensive soft tissue trauma inherent with these injuries. For these reasons, closed treatment techniques using minimally invasive reduction procedures with application of ring-type fine-wire external fixation have recently gained popularity.
Article
Sixty-six feet (62 patients) with displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures underwent manual reduction and distraction with the use of a triangular tube-to-bar external fixation device and were retrospectively reviewed at a minimum of 1-year post-operative. Final radiographic follow-up revealed complete consolidation in all fractures, maintenance of reduction, and limited degenerative osteoarthrosis about the subtalar joint. Our results indicate that with proper application and attention to detail, restoration of calcaneal morphology using triangular tube-to-bar external fixation should be considered a viable alternative in the treatment of displaced intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus.
UK Heel Fracture Trial Investigators. Operative versus non-operative treatment for closed, displaced, intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus: randomised controlled trial
  • D Griffin
  • N Parsons
  • E Shaw
  • Y Kulikov
  • C Hutchinson
  • M Thorogood
  • S E Lamb
Griffin D, Parsons N, Shaw E, Kulikov Y, Hutchinson C, Thorogood M, Lamb SE, UK Heel Fracture Trial Investigators. Operative versus non-operative treatment for closed, displaced, intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus: randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2014;349:4483.
Closed reduction and external fixation of calcaneus fractures and tarsometatarsal fracture-dislocations using the Ilizarov apparatus
  • H R Kortmann
  • D Wolter
Kortmann HR, Wolter D. Closed reduction and external fixation of calcaneus fractures and tarsometatarsal fracture-dislocations using the Ilizarov apparatus. Unfallchirurg 1992;95:541-546. [in German].