Research Article| Volume 61, ISSUE 2, P350-354, March 2022

Investigating the Radiological Outcomes of Syndesmosis Injuries in Ankle Fracture Patients After Suture Button Fixation

Published:September 18, 2021DOI:


      Concomitant syndesmotic injury occurs in 10% of ankle fractures. Anatomic reduction and maintenance of this reduction is critical in ensuring ankle stability and preventing long-term complications. This is a retrospective cohort study aimed at evaluating the mid-term radiological outcomes of syndesmotic injuries in ankle fracture patients after surgical fixation with suture button device. The study group included 33 patients. Plain radiographs including anteroposterior, lateral and mortise views of the affected ankle were performed preoperatively, postoperatively and at 3-month follow-up. Anteroposterior views were used to measure the amount of tibiofibular overlap and tibiofibular clear space. Paired Student's t test and linear model regression were performed. Between the immediate postoperative and 3-month follow-up period, there was a mean decrease in tibiofibular overlap of 0.841 (±2.07) mm (p = .0259). There was a mean increase in tibiofibular clear space of 0.621 (±1.46) mm (p = .0201). In addition, we found significant correlation between fracture type and change in tibiofibular clear space (p = .047). Our study showed that there is statistically significant widening of the syndesmosis after suture button fixation at 3-month follow-up as evidenced by reduced tibiofibular overlap and increase in tibiofibular clear space. However, they remain within the maximum threshold for acceptable syndesmotic widening of 1.5 mm. Further correlation between radiological outcomes and patient function is needed to determine clinical significance of these changes.

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