Bicortical Fixation of Medial Malleolar Fractures: A Review of 23 Cases at Risk for Complicated Bone Healing
Foot and Ankle Residency Program, Kaiser San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland, CA 94801, USA.The Journal of foot and ankle surgery: official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (Impact Factor: 0.85). 01/2012; 51(1):39-44. DOI: 10.1053/j.jfas.2011.09.007
Several methods have been described for fixation of unstable medial malleolar fractures. Certain patient populations, including the elderly, those with osteoporosis and osteopenia, and patients with diabetes mellitus, are generally known to be susceptible to complications associated with ankle fracture healing. The goal of the present retrospective investigation was to review the outcomes of a series of patients who had undergone medial malleolar fracture repair using fully threaded bicortical interfragmental compression screw fixation. Patients were included in the present series if they had undergone bicortical fixation of an unstable ankle fracture with a medial malleolar fracture component, in addition to having at least 1 of the following comorbidities: age 55 years or older, osteoporosis or osteopenia, diabetes mellitus, peripheral arterial disease, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, previous kidney transplantation, peripheral neuropathy, or current tobacco use. A total of 23 ankle fractures in 22 consecutive patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of the patients was 69.52 (range 45 to 89) years; 17 were female (77.27%) and 5 were male (22.73%). Of the 23 medial malleolar fractures, 21 (91.3%) achieved complete, uncomplicated healing. The mean interval to union was 62.6 (range 42 to 156) days. A total of 4 complications (17.39%) were noted, including 1 nonunion (4.35%), 1 malunion (4.35%), and 2 cases of painful retained hardware (8.7%). From our experience with this series of patients, bicortical screw fixation for medial malleolus fractures appears to be an acceptable alternative for fixation that provides a stable construct for patients at greater risk of bone healing complications.
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ABSTRACT: Malleolar fractures rank among the most frequent skeletal injuries. The majority of orthopaedic and trauma surgeons incline to surgical therapy with anatomical reposition and retention going for absolute stability. Recommended surgical techniques with screws, plates or tension-band wiring usually presents no problems for surgeons. Unsatisfactory postoperative radiological results, however, are often tolerated because revision surgery may not always have expected results. Difficulties in decision-making for right treatment are (a) the classification and right interpretation of the fracture type, (b) the question of stability and right treatment of syndesmotic injury, (c) the reconstruction of the distal fibula in length and without malrotation, (d) the question of surgical stabilization of the posterior tibial edge, and (e) the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to the medial osteoligamenteous complex. It is necessary to realise that, whatever classification has been used, injury proceeds in connected stages and can stop in each stage (Lauge-Hansen). Both supination and pronation osteoligamenteous injuries have specific patterns. It is important to analyse these patterns and put right therapeutic consequences. Included in this analysis must be the question of the right management of syndesmotic injury. It needs attention for exact reposition and retention of the distal fibula. Also, a fracture analysis of the medial complex is very important for right osteosynthesis following the principles in fracture treatment. In fractures of the anterior colliculus of the medial malleolus, the deep part of deltoid ligament can also be injured. The listed problems with their critical analyses and interpretations show that injuries of the ankle joint can be difficult to diagnose and treat. In conclusion references to these problems are critically interpreted.
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ABSTRACT: The present study introduces a knotless tension band construct and compares its biomechanical behavior with that of a traditional stainless steel tension band construct. Fourth-generation composite tibial Sawbones(®) were used in the present study. Fracture models were created to mimic Orthopaedic Trauma Association type 44-B2.2 ankle fractures. A total of 20 specimens were randomized evenly into a stainless steel tension band group (control group); or a knotless tension band group. The fixation constructs were mechanically tested, and the stiffness and failure strengths were calculated. Two failure strengths were determined: the engineering-based failure strength, defined as the greatest tensile load tolerated by the construct; and the clinical failure strength, defined as the force required to displace the fracture by 2 mm. We used 2-tailed independent samples t tests to compare and identify significant differences. The knotless tension band construct was 7.7% stronger and 33.2% stiffer and required a 36.7% greater force to displace the fracture by 2 mm. Independent sample t tests confirmed that differences in mean stiffness (p = .003) and clinical failure strength (p = .003) were statistically significant. Although the mean engineering strength for the knotless group was greater than that for the stainless steel group, this difference was not statistically significant (p = .170). This knotless tension band construct could potentially offer both clinical and biomechanical advantages compared with the current stainless steel standard.
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ABSTRACT: Displaced medial malleolus fractures require surgical repair because of the critical role the structure plays in normal joint function. Various approaches exist, but options are limited for small fragment fractures. This study compared repair with the Medial Malleolar Sled fixation system (Trimed, Inc, Valencia, CA) to lag screws in 2 modes of biomechanical loading in a cadaveric model. A Müller type B medial malleolus fracture was simulated on matched pairs of cadaveric lower extremities and repaired with the sled or 2 cancellous lag screws. Tibial distraction (tension, n = 10) or internal rotation (torsion, n = 11) was applied. Fragment movement was measured in the sagittal (tension and torsion) and transverse (torsion-only) planes. Fragment movement at 1 mm and 2 mm (clinical malunion) of gapping during tension and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 N-m during torsion was analyzed via paired t tests. In tension, the load at the 2-mm gap was statistically lower for screws (P = .026). Opening angle was statistically larger for the sled at the 1-mm (P = .0004) and 2-mm (P = .008) gap. In torsion, gapping was statistically lower for the sled (ranging from P = .0013 at 4 N-m to P = .0187 at 8 N-m). No differences were detected for opening angle or transverse plane movement. The sled appeared stronger in tension and as effective as lag screws in torsion. The sled may be a viable option for fractures too small for 4.0- or 3.5-mm lag screws. The sled may be suitable in applications where a tension band would normally be considered and may provide stronger fixation in osteoporotic bone compared with lag screw fixation.
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