Monoaxial external fixation of the calcaneus: an anatomical study assessing the safety of monoaxial pin insertion

Thomson, C. M., Esparon, T., Rea, P. M. and Jamal, B. (2016) Monoaxial external fixation of the calcaneus: an anatomical study assessing the safety of monoaxial pin insertion. Injury, 47(10), pp. 2091-2096. (doi:10.1016/j.injury.2016.06.024) (PMID:27440527)

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The use of external fixation for intra-articular calcaneal fractures is increasing in popularity. Studies have shown fine wire and monoaxial external fixation to be a viable surgical alternative to more invasive methods of open reduction and internal fixation of the calcaneus. However, there is an absence of literature that quantifies the risk of pin insertion for monoaxial fixation. This study aimed to determine the safety of inserting monoaxial pins within the calcaneus to house the Orthofix Calcaneal Mini-Fixator. Five formalin embalmed cadaveric ankle and lower leg specimens were inserted with six monoaxial pins. Careful dissection then revealed the presence of the tendons of peroneus longus and brevis, the sural nerve and the small saphenous vein in relation to these pins. Measurements from each pin to each of these structures were made as the structures transected lines drawn from each pin to two palpable bony landmarks: the inferior tip of the lateral malleolus and the posterosuperior calcaneus. In doing this, the risk posed by each pin could be evaluated. We found that two particular pins, those used to hold the articular surface of the subtalar joint in a reduced position, posed a larger risk of injury to surrounding structures than the remaining pins. These findings therefore suggest that monoaxial fixation of the calcaneus using a six pin approach is a relatively safe method of rectifying calcaneal fractures and thus may serve as a welcome alternative to other methods of calcaneal fixation.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rea, Professor Paul
Authors: Thomson, C. M., Esparon, T., Rea, P. M., and Jamal, B.
Subjects:Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > RD Surgery
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Injury
ISSN (Online):0020-1383
Published Online:23 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Injury 47(10):2091-2096
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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