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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 85-B, Issue 2 | Pages 244 - 249
1 Mar 2003
Debnath UK Freeman BJC Gregory P de la Harpe D Kerslake RW Webb JK

We studied prospectively 22 young athletes who had undergone surgical treatment for lumbar spondylolysis. There were 15 men and seven women with a mean age of 20.2 years (15 to 34). Of these, 13 were professional footballers, four professional cricketers, three hockey players, one a tennis player and one a golfer. Preoperative assessment included plain radiography, single positron-emission CT, planar bone scanning and reverse-gantry CT. In all patients the Oswestry disability index (ODI) and in 19 the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) scores were determined preoperatively, and both were measured again after two years in all patients. Three patients had a Scott’s fusion and 19 a Buck’s fusion.

The mean duration of back pain before surgery was 9.4 months (6 to 36). The mean size of the defect as determined by CT was 3.5 mm (1 to 8) and the mean preoperative and postoperative ODIs were 39.5 (sd 8.7) and 10.7 (sd 12.9), respectively. The mean scores for the physical component of the SF-36 improved from 27.1 (sd 5.1) to 47.8 (sd 7.7). The mean scores for the mental health component of the SF-36 improved from 39.0 (sd 3.9) to 55.4 (sd 6.3) with p < 0.001. After rehabilitation for a mean of seven months (4 to 10) 18 patients (82%) returned to their previous sporting activity.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 80-B, Issue 1 | Pages 139 - 143
1 Jan 1998
Freeman BJC Duff S Allen PE Nicholson HD Atkins RM

We have recently described an extended lateral approach to the hindfoot for the operative treatment of displaced intra-articular fractures of the calcaneum. It has the advantage of avoiding damage to the sural nerve and preserving blood supply to allow prompt healing.

We dissected 15 formalin-preserved cadavers, taking photographs to show the structures of the posterolateral aspect of the hindfoot and ankle. We describe a superficial and a deep triangle: the deep triangle contains a constant posterior peroneal artery which supplies the skin of the posterolateral heel. An approach designed to expose the sural nerve will divide this important artery and cause ischaemia of the posterior skin. The extended lateral approach elevates the sural nerve in a thick flap and preserves the blood supply of the skin.

We have reviewed 150 consecutive patients after the use of this approach to study the indications for operation, the quality of wound healing, any damage to the sural nerve and other complications. We recommend the careful use of this approach. Our understanding of its anatomical basis has allowed us to widen the indications for its use.