Background: The treatment of displaced, intra-articular calcaneus fractures is controversial. The extensile lateral approach has been historically preferred because it provides excellent exposure and visualization for fracture reduction. However, soft tissue complications with this approach can lead to poor outcomes for patients. Recently, there has been an interest in the minimally invasive treatment of calcaneus fractures. The purpose of the present study was to determine the radiographic reduction of displaced, intra-articular calcaneus fractures and the rate of complications using a 2-incision, minimally invasive approach.
Methods: A dual-incision, minimally invasive approach with plate and screw fixation was utilized for the treatment of 32 patients with displaced, intra-articular calcaneus fractures. Preoperative and postoperative calcaneal measurements were taken to assess fracture reduction. Additionally, a retrospective chart review was performed to assess for complications.
Results: The mean preoperative Bohler's angle measurement was 12.9 (range, -5 to 36) degrees and the final postoperative Bohler's angle was 31.7 (range, 16-40) degrees. One patient (3.1%) had postoperative numbness related to the medial incision in the calcaneal branch sensory nerve distribution. Two patients (6.2%) had a wound infection treated with local wound care and oral antibiotics, while 1 patient (3.1%) had a deep infection that required a secondary surgery for irrigation and debridement. Two patients (6.2%) returned to the operating room for removal of symptomatic hardware.
Conclusion: Operative fixation of displaced, intra-articular calcaneus fractures treated with a 2-incision, minimally invasive approach resulted in acceptable fracture reduction with a minimal rate of complications.
Level of evidence: Level IV, retrospective case series.
Keywords: calcaneus; fracture; intra-articular; minimally invasive; two-incision.