Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) versus ORIF and primary subtalar arthrodesis for complex displaced intraarticular calcaneus fractures: An expected value decision analysis

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine the optimal patient-oriented treatment between open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) with or without primary subtalar arthrodesis (PSTA) for patients with displaced intraarticular calcaneus fractures (DIACFs, OTA 82-C3 and C4).

Design:

Expected value decision analysis.

Setting:

Academic military treatment facility

Participants:

One hundred randomly selected volunteers.

Intervention:

Hypothetical clinical scenario involving ORIF versus ORIF with PSTA.

Main outcome measurements:

Decision analysis was used to elucidate the superior treatment option based on expected patient values, composed of: the product of the average outcome probabilities established by previously published studies and the average ascribed patient utility values for each outcome probability. One-way sensitivity analysis was performed to quantify the amount of change required for the inferior treatment to equal or surpass the superior option.

Results:

Expected values for ORIF and ORIF with PSTA were 8.96 and 18.06, respectively, favoring ORIF with PSTA. One-way sensitivity analysis was performed by artificially decreasing the rate of secondary fusion following isolated ORIF thus increasing its overall expected value. Adjusting the rate of secondary fusion to 0%, the expected value of ORIF with PSTA nearly doubled that of ORIF (18.06 vs 9.45). Similarly, when adjusting the moderate and severe complication rates following ORIF with PSTA to 100%, the expected value of ORIF with PSTA still exceeded that of ORIF (15.45 vs 8.96, and 13.52 vs 8.96, respectively).

Conclusion:

Expected value decision analysis favors ORIF with PSTA as the optimal treatment for complex DIACF.

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