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Standardised pre-operative diagnostics and treatment of peripheral arterial disease reduce wound complications in geriatric ankle fractures



The aim of this study was to evaluate a standardised algorithm to assess and treat impaired limb perfusion prior to surgical fixation of geriatric ankle fractures and determine the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in geriatric patients presenting with ankle fractures.


Eighty-four patients >65 years pre-operatively diagnosed and treated according to an algorithm (study group) were compared with 84 patients diagnosed and treated before the algorithm was introduced (control group).


In 14 patients of the study group, clinical noninvasive examination revealed signs of relevant PAD, which was confirmed with computed tomographic angiography (CTA) in nine patients, all of whom had successful angioplasty prior to surgical fixation of the ankle fracture. In three of these patients, PAD had previously been diagnosed. After standardised diagnostics and treatment of malperfusion, a significantly reduced overall and, particularly, wound complication rate was found.


PAD is an underdiagnosed condition in geriatric patients presenting with ankle fractures. This study underlines the relevance of limb perfusion for adequate wound healing in geriatric ankle fractures. Therefore, special attention should be paid to diagnose and—if indicated—optimise limb perfusion prior to surgical fixation of geriatric ankle fractures.

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Correspondence to Michael Frink.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Designed as a retrospective study, a formal approval of the local ethical committee or an informed consent was not required.

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Aigner, R., Lechler, P., Boese, C.K. et al. Standardised pre-operative diagnostics and treatment of peripheral arterial disease reduce wound complications in geriatric ankle fractures. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 42, 395–400 (2018).

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