Complications after open reduction and internal fixation of ankle fractures in the elderly

Michael J. Lynde, Travis Sautter, Graham A. Hamilton, John M. Schuberth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Open reduction with internal fixation for unstable ankle fractures is relatively predictable with excellent outcomes. However, the management of ankle fractures in the elderly remains less predictable secondary to the various co-morbidities associated with advanced age. Methods: A retrospective chart review of 216 patients over the age of 60 that sustained an ankle fracture, was performed to determine the incidence of complications after ORIF of ankle fractures in an elderly population in the perioperative course. Secondly, the incidence of complications in patients that had locking plate fixation compared to those that had non-locking plate fixation was determined. Lastly, the effect of early weight bearing on the incidence of complications was analyzed. Results: There was not a statistically significant difference in the complication rates between the group with co-morbidities (19.01%) and those without (11.96%). The postoperative complication with the highest incidence was wound dehiscence (9.7%), and only diabetes significantly predicted wound dehiscence. The fixation construct and weight-bearing protocol failed to significantly predict any of the indexed complications. Conclusions: Overall, the results suggest that surgical treatment of unstable ankle fractures in the elderly is fairly predictable with an acceptable complication rate. The complication rates are higher with increased age and diabetes, but they failed to reach statistical significance. Conventional plating appears to provide adequate stability without increased risk of hardware failure. In addition patients that were allowed to walk within the first 2 weeks postoperatively did not experience a higher rate of hardware failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-107
Number of pages5
JournalFoot and Ankle Surgery
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ankle fracture
  • Elderly
  • Geriatric
  • Locking plate
  • ORIF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Complications after open reduction and internal fixation of ankle fractures in the elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this