Percutaneous and minimally invasive open techniques for the treatment of calcaneal fractures are now frequently used with good results, although a comparison between these different techniques has not yet been performed. The aim of the present review was to search for studies evaluating the outcomes of patients after treatment with percutaneous and minimally invasive open techniques for calcaneal fractures. A search was performed using PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Studies from the previous 15 years in English were included. Data on the Sanders classification, operation technique, infection rate, American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot score, radiographic evaluation, and follow-up were extracted. The techniques were divided into 4 groups: minimally invasive open, percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis, external fixation, and other. Forty-six studies were included, with 1776 patients and 2018 calcaneal fractures. Of the 2018 fractures, 924 (46%) were classified as Sanders II, 558 (28%) as Sanders III, and 245 (12%) as Sanders IV; the fractures of 291 patients(14%) were not classified or were classified as complete extra-articular. Of the 46 studies, 15 used a minimally invasive open technique, 19 evaluated the outcome of percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis, 10 investigated the results of an external fixation system, and 2 studies used other operative techniques. The median infection rate was 3% (range 0% to 33%). The median American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society ankle-hindfoot score was 83 (range 67 to 94). The median angle of Böhler postoperatively was 24° (range 14° to 35°) and had increased after operative treatment, with a median of 16° (range 0° to 39°). The percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis and minimal invasive open technique resulted in significantly better outcomes compared with external fixation and other techniques. In conclusion, percutaneous reduction and screw osteosynthesis and minimal invasive open techniques have the best outcomes for the minimal invasive open surgical treatment of calcaneal fractures.
Level of Clinical Evidence: 2