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Foot & Ankle

Capsuloligamentotaxis and definitive fixation by an ankle-spanning Ilizarov fixator in high-energy pilon fractures

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Open reduction and internal fixation of high-energy pilon fractures are often associated with serious complications. Various methods have been used to treat these injuries, with variable results. A total of 17 consecutive patients with pilon fractures of AO/OTA type 43-B3 (n = 1), type C2 (n = 12) and type C3 (n = 4) were treated by indirect reduction by capsuloligamentotaxis and stabilisation using an ankle-spanning Ilizarov fixator. The calcaneal ring was removed at a mean of 3.7 weeks (3 to 6). A total of 16 patients were available for follow-up at a mean of 29 months (23 to 43). The mean time to healing was 15.8 weeks (13 to 23). Nine patients had pin-track infections but none had deep infection or osteomyelitis. Four patients (25%) had malunion. Fair, good or excellent ankle scores were found in 14 patients. External fixation with a ring fixator achieves stable reduction of the fractured fragments without additional trauma to soft tissues.

With minimum complications and good healing results, the Ilizarov apparatus is particularly useful for high-energy pilon fractures.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr S. R. Patra; e-mail: satyaranjan_patra@yahoo.com

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