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Locking Nail versus Plate Fixation in Calcaneal Fractures: Brief report on a Retrospective Analysis of Treatment Characteristics and Radiographic Correction Potential

Acta Chir Orthop Traumatol Cech. 2022;89(5):349-352.


PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Minimal and limited access techniques are gaining increasing interest for the treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures. The ideal treatment method is however still debated and largely based on individual case factors and surgeon experience. Aim of this study was thus to compare the treatment characteristics and radiographic correction potential of a locking nail system with a sinus tarsi approach to plate fixation via an extended lateral approach. MATERIAL AND METHODS We retrospectively reviewed 39 cases of patients with calcaneal fractures that received primary fracture treatment for displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures between July 2017 and March 2020. Patient characteristics, time to surgery, time to discharge, OR time and the correction achieved were analyzed and comparative statistics performed. RESULTS In total 19 patients treated with the locking nail and 20 patients treated with plate fixation were analyzed. Patient age and fracture severity according to the Sanders classification were comparable between the groups. Overall surgical time, as well as the achieved reduction was equal between both groups. Time to surgery, as well as time from surgery to discharge was significantly shorter in the locking nail group. 2 additional soft tissue procedures were necessary in the extended lateral approach group. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS The results with the locking calcaneus nail and sinus tarsi approach suggest, that similar treatment results can be achieved as with plate osteosynthesis and an extended lateral approach. Soft tissue management, as well as pre- and postoperative timing and discharge management can be improved with the nail. Further controlled trials comparing the longterm outcome between the treatment options are needed. Key words: calcaneus fracture, sinus tarsi approach, calcaneal nail, C-Nail.


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