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Use of External Fixation as an Adjunct in the Reduction and Fixation of Displaced Intra-Articular Calcaneus Fractures: A Review and Surgical Technique

Schweitzer, Karl M. Jr MD; Adams, Samuel B. Jr MD

Techniques in Foot & Ankle Surgery: September 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 - p 113–117
doi: 10.1097/BTF.0b013e31829f9f54
Special Focus: Emerging Techniques in Treating Calcaneal Fractures, Part I

The treatment of displaced, intra-articular calcaneus fractures is controversial. Complications are associated with both closed and open treatment methods. Various forms of external fixation have been used, including a definitive means of fixation and temporary postoperative means of preventing collapse as a supplement to internal fixation. We propose the adjunctive, intraoperative use of external fixation to manipulate the calcaneal tuberosity allowing for reduction and assisting in percutaneous or limited internal fixation of these fractures to decrease the complications associated with more invasive open reduction and internal fixation techniques, while still achieving anatomic reduction and stable fixation.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Samuel B. Adams, Jr, MD, Duke Orthopaedics, 4709 Creekstone Drive, Durham, NC 27703. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins