Percutaneous Arthroscopic Calcaneal Osteosynthesis: A Minimally Invasive Technique for Displaced Intra-Articular Calcaneal Fractures

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2015 Sep-Oct;54(5):798-804. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2014.12.033. Epub 2015 May 8.


The management of calcaneal fracture remains challenging. Open surgery has been fraught with high infection rates and soft tissue complications. More minimally invasive procedures have reduced this risk, but the patient outcomes after treatment of displaced calcaneal fractures have remained relatively unsatisfactory. We present a method for the management of Sanders grade II and III calcaneal fractures: percutaneous arthroscopic calcaneal osteosynthesis. Thirty-three fractures in 30 patients who had presented to our tertiary foot and ankle trauma center in central London were treated with percutaneous arthroscopic calcaneal osteosynthesis for calcaneal fractures, and the data were prospectively collected. The mean patient age at injury was 39 years. The mean follow-up period was 24 months. Of our patients, 58% were smokers at injury. Of the 33 fractures, 46% were classified as grade II and 54% as grade III. The mean length of stay was 1.92 days. At the final follow-up visit, the mean Böhler angle had increased from 11.10° (range 2° to 24°) to 23.41° (range 15° to 35°). The modified American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society scale score was 72.18 (range 18 to 100), the calcaneal fracture scoring system score was 79.34 (range 42 to 100), and the visual analog scale score was 29.50 (range 0 to 100). We had a single case of a superficial port site infection and 2 cases of prominent screws, which were removed. No cases of deep infection developed, and no conversion to subtalar fusion was required. This technique significantly reduced the incidence of postoperative wound complications. Direct visualization of the fracture site allowed accurate restoration of the articular surface and correction of heel varus. Furthermore, it was associated with a high self-reported functional outcome and a return to preinjury employment levels. Also, the results did not appear to be influenced by tobacco consumption.

Keywords: arthroscopy; calcaneal fracture; displaced fracture; injury; open reduction and internal fixation; trauma.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Calcaneus / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcaneus / injuries
  • Calcaneus / surgery*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Fracture Healing / physiology
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery*
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome