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Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Jul;34(7):941-8. doi: 10.1177/1071100713481460. Epub 2013 Mar 11.

Plantar medial wounds associated with calcaneal fractures.

Author information

1
Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98117-3100, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Calcaneal fractures with open wounds are prone to soft tissue complications. We describe a particular subclass of open injury that occurs on the plantar surface of the foot, medial to the anterior process of the calcaneus, the plantar medial wound (PMW). The purpose of this study was to evaluate soft tissue healing and potential complications in open calcaneal fractures that have a PMW.

METHODS:

We established the time to soft tissue healing and the status of the injured limb of 11 adults with 12 calcaneal fractures with a PMW. This was a retrospective review of prospectively gathered data at a Level I trauma center.

RESULTS:

Five fractures developed an infection requiring intravenous antibiotics. Two patients required split thickness skin grafts and 1 patient required a free gracilis flap 10 months after injury to treat a chronic open PMW with resolving osteomyelitis and required a below-knee amputation secondary to flap failure. The most commonly associated bony injury with a PMW was a transcalcaneal-talonavicular fracture dislocation (8/13 injuries). Nonunion of the calcaneal fracture occurred in 3 patients.

CONCLUSION:

Patients with this type of injury-even those with Gustilo Type I open fractures-need to be apprised that their injury is associated with long-term sequelae, including complications with wound healing, high infection rates, and a higher potential for subsequent amputation than other open hind foot wounds. The Tscherne classification of open wounds should be used in the future.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level IV, retrospective case series.

KEYWORDS:

calcaneus; foot; open wounds

PMID:
23478886
DOI:
10.1177/1071100713481460
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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