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J Int Med Res. 2014 Feb;42(1):17-25. doi: 10.1177/0300060513495626. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Postoperative complications after closed calcaneus fracture treated by open reduction and internal fixation: a review.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Ningbo No. 2 Hospital, Ningbo, China.



To review postoperative complications reported after closed calcaneus fracture treated by open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF).


Postoperative complications reported in the literature between 1995 and 2012 were identified. Papers were retrieved from publicly available databases and included in this study if they met the following criteria: clinical research of cases of closed calcaneus fracture treated by ORIF; ≥10 cases; detailed information about complications, treatment and follow up.


Twenty-one clinical reports were analysed (2046 cases). Reported complications (and incidence rates) were: infection and skin flap necrosis (13.6%); neurovascular injury (2.8%); post-traumatic arthritis (1.2%); malreduction/implant problems (0.8%); nonunion (0.1%).


Postoperative complications after closed calcaneus fracture are common clinical problems that cannot always be avoided. They can even be life altering, due to the requirement for long-term treatment or amputation and their economic impact on the patient. Complications should be diagnosed and treated promptly, to achieve satisfactory outcomes. Nonsurgical treatment (e.g. local wound care, drugs or physical therapy) can be attempted. If such measures fail, surgical treatment (e.g. debridement, skin flap transplantation, implant removal, re-opening of the reduction and internal fixation or subtalar joint arthrodesis) should be considered.


Calcaneus; fracture; open reduction and internal fixation; postoperative complications; review; treatment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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