Use of Locking Plates in the Treatment of Osteoporotic Distal Fibula Fractures

Abstract

The lateral ankle joint has a complex osseous anatomy, thus anatomic reduction of fractures is essential to lowering the risk of posttraumatic arthritis due to abnormal loading of cartilage on the articular surfaces. In elderly and other at-risk patients, bone quality in the distal fibular metaphysis is often poor, compounded by osteoporosis. For this reason, it is important for the treating surgeon to consider methods of fixation that will maximize the stability of anatomic reduction and minimize complications. This article reviews the principles of and indications for locked plating in the treatment of skeletal fractures, and examines the effectiveness of locked plating in the treatment of distal fibula fractures from a biomechanical and a clinical perspective.

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