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J Orthop Trauma. 2004 Jan;18(1):7-11.

Open calcaneal fractures: results of operative treatment.

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1
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review our series of open calcaneal fractures compared with other series.

DESIGN:

Retrospective review.

SETTING:

All patients were treated at a single Level 1 trauma center.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS:

We reviewed 19 consecutive patients, each with an open fracture of the calcaneus. Fracture morphology ranged from Sanders type II to type IV; associated soft tissue injuries were variable, ranging from Gustilo type I to type IIIC.

INTERVENTION:

All patients were treated with intravenous antibiotics, tetanus prophylaxis, and immediate and repeat irrigation and debridement. Definitive fracture reduction was performed at an average of 7 days after injury (range 0-22 days). Fixation methods included lateral plate and screws (11), Kirschner wires and/or screws (6), or none (2).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS:

AOFAS ankle-hindfoot scores, clinical examination, and radiographs.

RESULTS:

All 19 patients were available for follow-up with a physical examination and radiographs at an average of 26.2 months. The AOFAS ankle-hindfoot scores averaged 81.6 (range 58-94). Five patients required free tissue transfer for wound coverage. Two patients developed chronic, draining calcaneal osteomyelitis, for which one patient underwent a below-knee amputation. In our series, for the patients with Gustilo type II and type III open calcaneal fractures, there was an 11% complication rate with higher than expected health-related quality-of-life indices.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings do not reflect as high a complication rate for open calcaneal fractures as previously reported. We support previous claims that definitive hardware placement at the time of initial irrigation and debridement probably is not warranted: Definitive fracture stabilization can and should wait until soft tissue coverage is fully assessed.

PMID:
14676550
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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