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SA Orthopaedic Journal

On-line version ISSN 2309-8309
Print version ISSN 1681-150X

SA orthop. j. vol.7 n.1 Centurion Jan./Mar. 2008




Incidence of syndesmotic injuries in all different types of ankle fractures



Dr GN du PlessisI; Dr LD GrieselI; Dr D LourensI; Prof RP GräbeII

IMBChB (UP), Registrar. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pretoria, Pretoria
IISenior consultant. Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pretoria, Pretoria

Reprint requests




AIM: To determine the incidence of syndesmotic injuries in ankle fractures within the division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pretoria.
METHODS: A total of 94 serial patients with ankle fractures were assessed for syndesmotic injury by means of ankle mortise stress views and manual traction with a bone hook. Each fracture was classified according to both the Weber and Lauge Hansen classification and the incidence of syndesmosis injury in each group was determined.
RESULTS: In total, 94 patients were evaluated over a 6-month period. There were 54 males and 40 females. The mean age was 39.3 years with a range of 13 to 85 years. An overall incidence of syndesmotic injuries of 32.97% (31 injuries) was found in our series. Of these 31 syndesmotic injuries 3% were Weber A, 29% Weber B, 65% Weber C, and 3% were isolated medial-malleolus fractures. According to the Lauge-Hansen classification, 3% were abduction injuries, 61% pronation-external rotation, 29% supination-external rotation and 7% vertical-compression dorsiflexion injuries.
CONCLUSION: The overall incidence of 33% of syndesmotic injuries was much higher than expected. Due to the fact that an incidence of 3% in Weber A fractures and 29% in Weber B fractures was found, we suggest that all types of ankle fractures should be stressed in theatre.



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Reprint requests:
Prof RP Gräbe
Senior consultant, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pretoria
Private Bag X 169, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 354-6528; Fax: (012) 354-6161



No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. This research was not submitted to an ethical committee. This article is free of plagiarism.

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