No randomized comparative study has compared the extensile lateral approach (ELA) and sinus tarsi approach (STA) for Sanders type 2 calcaneal fractures. This randomized comparative study was conducted to confirm whether the STA was prone to fewer wound complications than the ELA.
Between August 2013 and August 2018, 64 patients with Sanders type 2 calcaneus fractures were randomly assigned to receive surgical treatment by the ELA (32 patients) and STA (32 patients). The primary outcome was development of wound complications. The secondary outcomes were postoperative complications, pain scored of a visual analogue scale (VAS), American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, 36-item Short Form health survey, operative duration, subtalar joint range of motion (ROM), Böhler’s angle and calcaneal width, and posterior facet reduction.
Although four patients (12.5%) in the ELA groups and none in the STA group experienced complications, the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.113). VAS and AOFAS score were significantly better in the STA group than in the ELA group at six months (p = 0.017 and p = 0.021), but not at 12 months (p = 0.096 and p = 0.200) after surgery. The operation time was significantly shorter in the STA group than in the ELA group (p < 0.001). The subtalar joint ROM was significantly better in the STA group (p = 0.015). Assessment of the amount of postoperative reduction compared with the uninjured limb showed significant restoration of calcaneal width in the ELA group compared with that in the STA group (p < 0.001).
The ELA group showed higher frequency of wound complications than the STA group for Sanders type 2 calcaneal fractures even though this was not statistically significant.
Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(2):286–293.