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Minimally invasive reduction and fixation of displaced calcaneal fractures: surgical technique and radiographic analysis

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Abstract

Purpose

The optimal treatment of calcaneal fractures is controversial. A specific subgroup of healthy patients has good outcomes with open reduction and internal fixation using an extensile lateral approach. However, there are many patients who do not fit into this category. Consequently, they are either denied surgical intervention or put at significant risk of developing complications as a result of open surgical intervention. Minimally invasive reduction and fixation (MIRF) of calcaneal fractures can restore the height, width, length and shape of the hindfoot in addition to restoring the orientation of the posterior facet of the calcaneus (Böhler’s angle).

Methods

We present a series of 31 patients treated with minimally invasive reduction and fixation technique using threaded K wires and Steinmann pins as an alternative treatment method in patients who are not suitable for open reduction and internal fixation.

Results

The mean time to surgery from injury was six days (range one to ten days). The mean duration of surgery was 35 minutes (range 11–52 minutes). The mean followup was 14.9 months (range of seven to 30 months). The mean change in Böhler’s angle and length of the calcaneus from intra-operative fixation to final followup were 18.7° and 4.7 mm, respectively. The complication rate was low and there was one case of a superficial wound infection and no cases of deep infection or peroneal impingement in this series.

Conclusion

The MIRF technique with the use of threaded K wires has not been previously described in the literature. In our experience, the operative time is short and can be safely performed even in the presence of extensive soft tissue swelling in the immediate period following injury. The infection risk is low and calcaneal morphology was improved and maintained in terms of Böhler’s angle. This technique is suitable to be considered in patients who have significant medical co-morbidities (smokers, diabetics, peripheral vascular disease) and in those patients who are not suitable for an extensile lateral approach and internal fixation.

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No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Mateen Arastu.

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Arastu, M., Sheehan, B. & Buckley, R. Minimally invasive reduction and fixation of displaced calcaneal fractures: surgical technique and radiographic analysis. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 38, 539–545 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-013-2235-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-013-2235-4

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