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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2018

Modified Essex-Lopresti procedure with percutaneous calcaneoplasty for comminuted intra-articular calcaneal fractures: a retrospective case analysis

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jen-Ta Shih, Chun-Lin Kuo, Tsu-Te Yeh, Hsain-Chung Shen, Ru-Yu Pan, Chia-Chun Wu



The ideal treatment for comminuted intraarticular calcaneal fractures is still debated. Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is the most popular surgical procedure; however, wound complications, implant choice, and infection remain major concerns. This study aimed to demonstrate the results of an innovative, minimally invasive surgical procedure, namely, a closed reduction technique using large-diameter Steinmann pins and percutaneous calcaneoplasty using injectable calcium sulfate cement (MIIG X3, Wright Medical Technology, Inc., Arlington, TN), in patients with comminuted calcaneal fractures.


From January 2012 to January 2014, 20 patients (three women, 17 men) with comminuted calcaneus fractures (Sanders classification type III and Essex-Lopresti classification joint-depression type fracture) were included. Plain films and CT scans were obtained preoperatively in all patients. The operation was performed within three days post-injury, and patients were not allowed to bear weight until three months postoperatively. During this period, the patients were educated on how to perform bed exercises for joints above the surgical site, including muscle strengthening and body conditioning. Early active range of motion exercises for the ankle and forefoot began 3 to 6 weeks postoperatively. All patients were followed up regularly. The results were assessed using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle score and Böhler’s angle of the calcaneus.


After an average follow-up of two years, none of the patients required further surgery or experienced soft tissue complications. The clinical results were rated good to excellent on the AOFAS scale in 80% of the cases (16 of 20 patients), and most patients had pain relief and returned to their former daily activities at the same level as before the injury.


A modified Essex-Lopresti procedure with percutaneous calcaneoplasty appears to be a safe and effective procedure to treat comminuted calcaneal fractures with acceptable functional results. Long-term outcomes and additional cases using this technique are required to support our conclusion.
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