Follow-up evaluation of open intra-articular fractures of the calcaneus
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- Siebert, C., Hansen, M. & Wolter, D. Arch Orth Traum Surg (1998) 117: 442. doi:10.1007/s004020050289
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The results of a follow-up evaluation of open intra-articular calcaneal fractures are presented. A modified Merle d’Aubigné functional score and Zwipp radiographic score were used. A retrospective analysis of 35 patients with 36 open intra-articular fractures represents the basis of the study. At the time of follow-up examination (on average 44 months after the injury), 5 amputations of the affected extremity and 4 ankle arthrodeses had been carried out. The 23 patients still able to bear weight on the affected hindfoot and possessing a functional ankle joint were radiographically and functionally evaluated. No excellent results were documented. Only 6 good functional and 2 good radiographic outcomes were noted. In 17 instances, a poor functional or radiographic score was given. Devastating results were seen in the course of treatment of third-degree open joint depression or comminuted intra-articular fractures (n = 15): 9 cases of osteomyelitis, 5 amputations, 1 partial calcanectomy, 1 arthrodesis. An open reduction as part of the primary treatment (n = 6) led to local complications in all instances. The most favorable results were seen after nonoperative fracture management: complication-free course of treatment in 4 of 11 patients. All workmen’s injuries led to a permanent disability, and these patients received compensation. The treatment and salvage of the soft-tissue envelope should be paramount in all therapeutic decisions. The fracture treatment must not further jeopardize these tissues. An aggressive operative treatment of local complications, including arthrodesis or amputation, is recommended.