Original Research| Volume 56, ISSUE 6, P1173-1179, November 2017

Posterolateral Approach With Buttress Plates and Cannulated Screw Fixation for Large Posterior Malleolus Fractures


      The present study retrospectively reviewed the clinical efficacy of open reduction and internal fixation with buttress plates and cannulated screws via a posterolateral approach for the treatment of large posterior malleolus fractures. From July 2009 to April 2012, 34 patients (15 males and 19 females; mean age 41.2 years) with posterior malleolus fractures involving >25% of the distal articular tibia, were treated by cannulated screw and buttress plate fixation. All the patients were followed for ≥24 months. The outcome measures included the radiographic appearance of the reduction and bone union and the Baird-Jackson score. The average operation time was 105.6 (range 78 to 145) minutes. Radiologic examination showed all fractures achieved anatomic reduction and primary bone union at a mean of 3.8 (range 3 to 7) months after surgery. After an average follow-up period of 32.7 (range 24 to 44) months, no displacement, loosening, or breakage of internal fixation was observed. However, mild posttraumatic arthritis was present in 3 patients. According to the Baird-Jackson scoring system, the outcomes were rated as excellent in 11 cases, good in 17, fair in 5, and poor in only 1 case, for an excellent and good rate of 82.3%. An association analysis indicated age and injury mechanism might be factors influencing the intraoperative and postoperative outcomes. A posterolateral approach with buttress plate and cannulated screw internal fixation could be an effective technique for reduction and fixation of large posterior malleolus fragments.

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