Operative versus nonoperative treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures in elderly patients

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2010 Jan-Feb;49(1):25-32. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2009.08.001.


We compared the outcomes of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures in 33 patients aged 65 to 75 years, who were treated either operatively (n = 18) or nonsurgically (n = 15), between December 2001 and December 2005. The operative treatment group scored higher on the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot score and had less pain as measured with the 10-cm visual analog scale than did the nonsurgically treated group, with the differences being statistically significant (P < or = .05), suggesting that results can be improved by operative treatment. Böhler's angle, the quality of operative reduction, subtalar joint motion, gender, and the Sanders type of fracture were also analyzed and compared between the treatment groups. The results confirmed that Böhler's angle, the quality of the reduction, and subtalar joint motion were important prognostic factors related to outcome, regardless of treatment; whereas gender and Sanders type had less influence on the results at the 2-year follow-up evaluation. The prevalence of complications observed in the surgically treated group was similar to that reported in prior publications, except for subtalar arthritis (38.9%), which may have been higher because of the age of our patients and the duration of follow-up.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Calcaneus / injuries*
  • Calcaneus / surgery*
  • Cryotherapy
  • Female
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prognosis
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Rest
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subtalar Joint / physiopathology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight-Bearing