Review Article| Volume 57, ISSUE 3, P557-571, May 2018

Minimally Invasive Treatment of Ankle Fractures in Patients at High Risk of Soft Tissue Wound Healing Complications


      The complex nature of ankle fractures is magnified when seen in patients at high risk of soft tissue wound healing complications. The major categories include associated soft tissue injury, diabetes, tobacco use, peripheral vascular disease, malnutrition, alcoholism, and corticosteroid use. Because of the potential for wound dehiscence and infection with open reduction and internal fixation of ankle fractures in these patients, minimally invasive procedures have been described. The aims of the present study were to assess the possibility for, and evaluate the results and complications of, minimally invasive techniques for different types of malleolar fractures in high-risk patients. We report the clinical results of 47 high-risk patients who presented with malleolar fractures from January 2007 to December 2012 and underwent minimally invasive reduction and fixation. One patient (0.5%) developed a superficial infection; however, none of the patients displayed wound dehiscence or deep infection. Five patients (10.6%) required open reduction because of intraoperative failure to achieve anatomic reduction. Using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot scale, 15 of the patients (36%) treated with minimally invasive techniques experienced an excellent outcome. In contrast, 23 patients (55%) had a good, 3 (7%) a fair, and 1 (2.5%) a poor outcome. The results of our study have shown that minimally invasive fixation appears to be a satisfactory method for the management of malleolar fractures in high-risk patients and could be helpful in the avoidance of the complications associated with conventional open reduction and internal fixation.

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