Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Functional Outcomes after Fibula Locking Nail for Fragility Fractures of the Ankle

Authors: Aysha Rajeev, Shanaka Senevirathna, Sarkhell Radha, and N.S. Kashayap

Abstract:  The aim of the present study was to assess the functional outcome of fragility fractures of the ankle treated with a fibular locking nail. A retrospective review of 24 patients with fragility fractures treated with a fibular locking nail from January 2005 to December 2007 was performed. The fibular nail used in our study was Biomet SST (stainless steel taper) small bone locking nail for the fibula. The Olerud and Molander scale was used to assess the functional outcome at the end of 1 year. The domains of the Olerud and Molander scale are pain, stiffness, swelling, stair climbing, running, jumping, squatting, support, and the activities of daily living. The patients were interviewed by telephone or the questionnaire was send by mail. Of the 24 patients, 2 were men and 22 were women. The left side was affected in 15 patients. The age group ranged from 71 to 91 years (average, 79). Of the fractures, 10 were lateral alveolus, 8 were bimalleolar, and 6 were trimalleolar fractures. All the patients were followed up at 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and after 6 months. The average period to fracture union was 8.7 weeks. No wound breakdown or any deep infections developed. The average Olerud and Molander scale score was 57 (range 30 to 65). The use of fibular locking nails to treat these difficult fracture are quite crucial to achieve early mobilization and also to maintain a good fracture position. In our study, the use of fibular nails was a very useful and successful method of treating fragility fractures with a very low risk of 
complications. It also helps to restore function and results in patient satisfaction.

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