Author(s): Bava E, Charlton T, Thordarson D, Bava E, Charlton T, Thordarson D, Bava E, Charlton T, Thordarson D
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Abstract There is a wide variety of treatments for disruption of the syndesmosis. There is also controversy as to which device should be used for fixation of the syndesmosis, how many devices should be used, how many cortices the screws should engage, and whether, when, and where the screws should be removed. We conducted a study to determine how orthopedic surgeons manage these injuries. In a survey, we asked orthopedic trauma and foot and ankle fellowship directors and members of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society how they routinely treated the syndesmotic injury component of Danis-Weber type C or Lauge-Hansen pronation-external rotation type IV ankle fractures. The overall response rate was 50\% (77/153). Fifty-one percent of respondents routinely used 3.5-mm cortical screws, 24\% routinely used 4.5-mm cortical screws, and 14\% routinely used a suture fixation device. Forty-four percent of respondents routinely used 1 screw, 44\% routinely used 2 screws, and the rest were undecided between 1 and 2 screws. Twenty-nine percent of respondents engaged 3 cortices with syndesmotic screws, and 67\% engaged 4 cortices. Syndesmotic screws were routinely removed 65\% of the time and left in place 35\% of the time. Routine removal of syndesmotic screws was done in the operating room in 95\% of cases; it was done at 3 months in 49\% of cases, at 4 months in 37\%, and at 6 months in 12\%. The most common method for treating syndesmotic injuries was through use of 3.5-mm screws engaging 4 cortices routinely removed in the operating room at 3 months. Number of screws used to fix the syndesmosis, either 1 or 2, was evenly split.
This article was published in Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ)
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis