January 1st, 2015 , Foot Ankle Int

Influence of Contralateral Radiographs on Accuracy of Anatomic Reduction in Surgically Treated Calcaneus Fractures


The purpose of this study was to determine whether obtaining a radiograph of the uninjured contralateral calcaneus (template) before surgery allowed for more precise restoration of Bohler’s angle and calcaneal length when performing open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) of intra-articular calcaneus fractures.


Patients who sustained an intra-articular calcaneus fracture requiring surgery who met inclusion criteria were prospectively randomized into those who had a preoperative template obtained for review at the time of ORIF (group 1) versus those who had the contralateral radiograph obtained after surgery (group 2).


There was no benefit of the preoperative template in allowing for more anatomic restoration of Bohler’s angle or calcaneal length. Operative time was decreased with the use of a preoperative template when using the extensile lateral or percutaneous approaches.


Preoperative templating of the uninjured contralateral calcaneus did not allow for more anatomic reduction or restoration of pre-injury morphology of the calcaneus undergoing operative fixation as based on Bohler’s angle and calcaneal length. Templating may be of benefit by reducing operative time.


Level II, prospective comparative series.