Augmentation of Intraarticular Calcaneal Fractures With Injectable Calcium Phosphate Cement: Densitometry, Histology, and Functional Outcome of 18 Patients

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Eighteen patients with intraarticular calcaneal fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation and augmentation with an injectable carbonated apatite cement. Functional follow-up studies using the Zwipp Foot Score and densitometry were performed at 6-month intervals postoperatively. Histological samples of biopsies obtained at the time of hardware removal (6 months postoperatively) were also analyzed. The use of bone cement led to intermediate-term functional outcomes that were no better than those reported with conventional surgical procedures using bone graft. Patients demonstrated postoperative difficulties similar to those seen in other studies of this fracture, including pain, subtalar motion restrictions, peroneal impingement, and difficulties on uneven terrain and with toe- and heel-walking. However, compared to patients treated surgically without injectable carbonated apatite cement, full weight bearing on the affected extremity was regained at an average 4 weeks postoperatively. In addition, autogenous bone graft was not required to fill the osseous defect using this technique, minimizing morbidity and discomfort. During the present observation period of 3 years, only a slight decrease in the density of the peripheral zones of the cement block was observed. Histological examination revealed fibrous bone formation resulting from remodelling processes. Complete resorption and remodeling of the bone cement were not complete at 3 years. One patient developed a postoperative wound infection. Another displayed cement loosening secondary to failure of bony ingrowth.

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