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Instructional Review

Medial malleolar fractures

current treatment concepts

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The medial malleolus, once believed to be the primary stabilizer of the ankle, has been the topic of conflicting clinical and biomechanical data for many decades. Despite the relevant surgical anatomy being understood for almost 40 years, the optimal treatment of medial malleolar fractures remains unclear, whether the injury occurs in isolation or as part of an unstable bi- or trimalleolar fracture configuration. Traditional teaching recommends open reduction and fixation of medial malleolar fractures that are part of an unstable injury. However, there is recent evidence to suggest that nonoperative management of well-reduced fractures may result in equivalent outcomes, but without the morbidity associated with surgery. This review gives an update on the relevant anatomy and classification systems for medial malleolar fractures and an overview of the current literature regarding their management, including surgical approaches and the choice of implants.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:512–521.

Correspondence should be sent to T. H. Carter; email:

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