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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2011 Jan;19(1):27-36.

Management of calcaneal malunion.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.


The potential for disabling malunion following calcaneal fracture is high, regardless whether a patient is treated nonsurgically or surgically. Fracture displacement typically results in loss of hindfoot height, varus heel position, and widening of the hindfoot, with possible subfibular impingement and irritation of the peroneal tendon and/or sural nerve. Frequently, the subtalar joint develops posttraumatic arthritis. In symptomatic patients with calcaneal malunion, systematic evaluation is required to determine the source of pain. Nonsurgical treatment, such as activity modification, bracing, orthoses, and injection, is effective in many patients. Surgical treatment may involve simple ostectomy, subtalar arthrodesis with or without distraction, or corrective calcaneal osteotomy. A high rate of successful arthrodesis and of patient satisfaction has been reported with surgical management.

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