Calcaneal fractures are notoriously difficult to treat and wound complications occur often. However, owing to the rare nature of these fractures, clinical trials on this subject are lacking. Thus, biomechanical studies form a viable source of information on this subject. With our systematic review of biomechanical studies, we aimed to provide an overview of all the techniques available and guide clinicians in their choice of method of fracture fixation. A literature search was conducted using 3 online databases to find biomechanical studies investigating methods of fixation for calcaneal fractures. A total of 14 studies investigating 237 specimens were identified. Large diversity was found in the tested fixation methods and in the test setups used. None of the studies found a significant difference in favor of any of the fixation methods. All tested methods provided a biomechanically stable fixation. All the investigated methods of fixation for calcaneal fractures seem to be biomechanically sufficient. No clear benefit was found for locking plates in the fixation of calcaneal fractures; however, a subtle mechanical superiority might exist compared with nonlocking plates in the case of fractures in osteoporotic bone. Several of the techniques tested would be suitable for a minimal invasive approach. These should be investigated further in clinical trials.
Dingemans, S. A., Sintenie, F. W., de Jong, V. M., Luitse, J. S. K., & Schepers, T. (2018). Fixation Methods for Calcaneus Fractures: A Systematic Review of Biomechanical Studies Using Cadaver Specimens. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, 57(1), 116-122. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jfas.2017.05.042