Hak DJ, Egol KA, Gardner MJ, Haskell A., Instr Course Lect. 60:73-88., 2011 Jan 01
AbstractAnkle fractures are among the most common injuries managed by orthopaedic surgeons. Many ankle fractures are simple, with straightforward management leading to successful outcomes. Some fractures, however, are challenging, and debate arises regarding the best treatment to achieve an optimal outcome. Some patients have medical comorbidities that increase the risk for complications or may require modifications to standard surgical techniques and fixation methods.
Several recent investigations have highlighted the pitfalls in accurately reducing syndesmotic injuries. Controversy remains regarding the number and diameter of screws, the duration of weight-bearing limitations, and the need or timing of screw removal. Open reduction may allow more accurate reduction than standard closed methods. Direct fixation of associated posterior malleolus fractures may provide improved syndesmotic stability. Posterior malleolus fractures vary in size and can be classified based on the orientation of the fracture line. As the size of the posterior malleolus fracture fragment increases, the load pattern in the ankle is altered. Direct or indirect reduction and surgical fixation may be required to prevent posterior talar subluxation and restore articular congruency. The supination-adduction fracture pattern is also important to recognize. Articular depression of the medial tibial plafond may require reduction and bone grafting. Optimal fixation requires directing screws parallel to the ankle joint or using a buttress plate.
Identifying ankle fractures that may present additional treatment challenges is essential to achieving a successful outcome. A careful review of radiographs and CT scans, a thorough patient assessment, and detailed preoperative planning are needed to improve patient outcomes.