Objective: Debate continues regarding the management of calcaneal fractures, between open reduction and internal fixation and closed treatment. Hence we aim at evaluating the radiological and functional outcomes of open reduction and internal fixation in displaced joint depression type of calcaneal fractures fixed with locking calcaneal plate.
Methods: In this series, 28 patients (26 unilateral and 2 bilateral) with joint depression type of calcaneal fractures as per Essex-Lopresti classification system were operated on with locking calcaneal plate within 3 weeks of injury. Patients were evaluated in terms of associated injuries and X-rays of anteroposterior, lateral and axial views of the calcaneum. CT scan was done to assess the amount of comminution and articular depression. Patients were followed up clinically and radiologically at least for 1 year. Radiological assessment was done by Bohler's angle and Gissane's angle along with measurement of calcaneal height and width. Functional outcome was assessed using the American Orthopaedics Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scale.
Results: At average follow-up of 14.5 months, average AOFAS score was 86.3 (range 66 to 97), with 86% having excellent to good results and 2 (7.7%) and 1 (3.7%) having fair and poor results respectively. All patients had stable ankle joint with all having dorsiflexion and plantar flexion more than 30 degrees. Average subtalar range of motion was 17 degrees The mean Bohler's angle, mean Gissane's angle, calcaneal height and width were 25.47 degrees 121.3 degrees 4.32 cm and 3.81 cm respectively at final follow-up. Three patients had flap necrosis at incision site and one had superficial and deep infection. Subtalar arthritis was seen in 5 patients, whereas sural nerve hypoaesthesia in 1 patient. None of the patients had compartment syndrome, heel pad problems, peroneal tendinitis, reflex sympathetic dystropy or implant failure.
Conclusion: Open reduction and internal fixation with locking calcaneal plate gives sound functional outcome, i.e. restoring anatomically reconstruction of height, width, Bohler's and Gissiane's angles of the calcaneum, and allowing early mobilization.