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Symptomatic nonunion after fracture of the calcaneum


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We have treated 14 patients (15 fractures) with nonunion of an intra-articular fracture of the body of the calcaneum. The mean follow-up was six years (2 to 8.5). A total of 14 fractures (93%) had initially been treated operatively with 12 (86%) having non-anatomical reductions. Four feet (27%) had concomitant osteomyelitis. Of the nonunions, 14 (93%) went on to eventual union after an average of two reconstructive procedures. All underwent bone grafting of the nonunion. The eventual outcome was a subtalar arthrodesis in ten (67%) cases, a triple arthrodesis in four (27%) and a nonunion in one (6%). Three patients had a wound dehiscence; all required a local rotation flap. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society score at latest follow-up was 69, and the mean Visual analogue scale was 3. Of those who were initially employed, 82% (9 of 11) eventually returned to work. We present an algorithm for the treatment of calcaneal nonunion, and conclude that despite a relatively high rate of complication, this complex surgery has a high union rate and a good functional outcome.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr A. P. Molloy; e-mail: orthoblue@aol.com

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