Ankle Movement Determines the Outcome for a Heel Fracture Following Surgery
Heel fractures frequently result in a poor patient perceived outcome with an expensive repair price tag. The heel bone, also known as the calcaneus, partially sits under the talus, one of the main ankle bones. The joint between the calcaneus and the talus often becomes stiff following a heel fracture repair because of the hardware that is placed to stabilize the calcaneus followed by the resting time needed after surgery. This stiffness can interfere with walking patterns, affecting speed and step length, which often influences overall patient satisfaction following a calcaneal repair surgery.
Authors of a recent study were interested in determining the correlation between walking patterns and the patients perception of their recovery along with overall healing rates following a heel fracture corrective surgery. They followed 13 patients six months after heel fracture repair surgery. They analyzed the overall success of the surgery based off of x-rays, walking patterns, and the patient's perspective of how well they believe that they healed. The results showed that better outcomes, in all aspects, were associated with better movement in the ankle joint following surgery. Patient with more limited talus and calcaneal motion had poorer overall results.
Sander van Hoeve, MD et. al. Gait Analysis and Functional Outcome After Calcaneal Fracture. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. November 2015. Vol. 97-A, No. 22. Pp. 1897-1898.