It is widely accepted that operative fixation of unstable ankle fractures yields predictably good outcomes in the general population. The current literature, however reports less acceptable results in the geriatric population age 65 years and older. The current study analyzes the outcome of the surgical treatment of unstable ankle fractures in patients at least 65 years old. Twenty three patient over 65 years old were surgically treated after sustaining 21 (91%) closed and 2 (9%) open grade II unstable ankle fractures. Fractures were classified according to the Danis-Weber and Lauge-Hansen schemes. Fracture type was predominantly Weber B (21/23, 91%), or supination external rotation stage IV (21/23, 91%). Fracture union rate was 100%. There were three significant complications including a lateral wound dehiscence with delayed fibular union in an open fracture dislocation, and two below knee amputations, neither of which was directly related to the fracture treatment. There were three minor complications; one superficial wound infection and two cases of prolonged incision drainage, all of which resolved without further surgical intervention. Complications were associated with open fractures and preexisting systemic disease. These results indicate that open reduction and internal fixation of unstable ankle fractures in geriatric patients is an efficacious treatment regime that with results that are comparable to the general population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine