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Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Feb;99(9):e19380. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000019380.

Treatment of a high-energy transsyndesmotic ankle fracture: A case report of "logsplitter injury".

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Department of Orthopaedic, Nanjing First Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, PR China.



The "logsplitter injury" is a special type of ankle fractures that results from high energy violence with combined rotational forces and axial loads. So far, the diagnose and treatment of "logsplitter injury" remain largely unsettled and related literature is rare.


An 18-year-old male fell from a fence and got his left ankle injured with severe malformation and swollen condition. No open wound was observed.


Logsplitter injury, ankle fracture (AO/OTA classification 44C1.1, Lauge-Hansen classification: pronation-external rotation).


The patient was initially treated by internal fixation of fibular, repair of deltoid ligaments, and 1 syndesmotic screw fixation. When the X-ray applied after surgery, another 2 syndesmotic screws were performed to enhance stability. The syndesmotic screws were removed at 12-week and 16-week respectively. The patient was allowed for full weight-bearing immediately. However, the syndesmotic space was slightly increased compared to the contralateral side in CT views at 1-year follow-up, the function outcome was satisfied.


The logsplitter injury is a high-energy ankle fracture that requires both axial and rotational load. It is categorized as 44B or 44C by the AO/OTA classification. In the classification scheme of Lauge-Hansen, our case is in line with the pronation-external rotation classification. Anatomic reduction and fixation of ankle syndesmotic injuries are required to restore the biomechanics of the ankle joint so that long-term complications can be prevented. How to fixation the syndesmosis, whether to reconstruct the deltoid ligament remains in debate in the treatment of logsplitter injury, whether and when to remove the syndesmotic screws were still debated. Correct surgical intervention is successful in the treatment of "logsplitter injury", however, the optimal fixation of syndesmosis and repair of deltoid ligaments need further investigate.

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