Introduction: Extra-articular calcaneal fractures represent 25-40% of all calcaneal fractures and an even higher percentage of up to 60% is seen in children. A disproportionately small part of the literature on calcaneal fractures involves the extra-articular type. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of extra-articular calcaneal fractures in a Level 1 trauma centre, define the distribution of the various types of fractures and compare patient demographics between extra- and intra-articular calcaneal fractures. In addition the literature was reviewed for the most common types of extra-articular calcaneal fractures with regard to incidence, treatment and clinical outcome. Methods: The radiological records between 2003 and 2005 were reviewed for intra- and extra-articular calcaneal fractures. Patient gender-distribution and age were compared. A literature search was conducted for the treatment of extra-articular calcaneal fractures. Results: In this 3-year study period a total of 49 patients with 50 extra-articular calcaneal fractures and 91 patients with 101 intra-articular fractures were identified. The median age for the first group was 32.7 years, and for the second group 40.3 years; P = 0.04. Male predominance was significantly less pronounced for extra-articular (63%) compared with intra-articular fractures (79%; P = 0.04). Conclusion: One-third of all calcaneal fractures are extra-articular. Significant differences exist between the intra- and extra-articular groups, in terms of lower age and male-female ratio. The literature study shows inconsistencies in treatment options, but most extra-articular fractures are well manageable conservatively.

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Surgery and Traumatology
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery
Department of Surgery

Schepers, T., Ginai, A., van Lieshout, E., & Patka, P. (2008). Demographics of extra-articular calcaneal fractures: Including a review of the literature on treatment and outcome. Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery (Vol. 128, pp. 1099–1106). doi:10.1007/s00402-007-0517-2