Low Risk of Wound Complications With Sinus Tarsi Approach for Treatment of Calcaneus Fractures

Blake Wallace, Avneesh Chhabra, Anish Narayanan, David O'Neill, Yin Xi, Michael Van Pelt, Dane K. Wukich, George Liu, Drew Sanders, Trapper Lalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Operative management displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures is commonly associated with wound complications. Open reduction internal fixation is traditionally performed through the extensile lateral approach has relatively high rates of wound complications. The sinus tarsi approach to displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures is a less invasive approach to achieve fracture reduction and fixation as well as reduce wound healing complications. The purpose of this study is to report the rates of wound complications associated with the sinus tarsi approach in the treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures. Methods: We retrospectively identified patients treated with a limited sinus tarsi approach for displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures from January 2009 to December 2018. Demographic and radiographic data were collected including age, gender, mechanism of injury, occupation, presence of diabetes mellitus, smoking status, Sanders classification, Bohler and Gissane angles. Postoperatively, we recorded the presence of complications, return-to-work time, and radiographic measurements. Results: One hundred and five fractures were identified in 100 patients who underwent open reduction internal fixation for displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures. Using the Sanders computed tomographic classification, we identified 32% Type 2, 48% Type 3, 18% Type 4, and 2% tongue-type variants. For the preoperative Bohler's angle, 38% of fractures displayed a negative angle, 50% had an angle 0° to 20°, and 12% over 20°. Postoperatively, all patients demonstrated an improvement in Bohler's angle with 13% with 0° to 20° and 87% over 20°. Approximately, 72% of patients working prior to the injury had returned to work by 6 months, and 89% by 12 months. The wound complication rate was 11.9% (12/105), with 1.9% (2/105) requiring additional procedures. There was no significant difference in wound complication rates in smokers versus nonsmokers (11.9% vs 12.2%, p =.55). Conclusion: Operative management of displaced intra-articular calcaneus fractures through the sinus tarsi approach allows restoration of calcaneal height with a low rate of wound complications, even among active smokers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-775
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • 4
  • calcaneus fracture
  • displaced intra-articular calcaneus fracture
  • sinus tarsi approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Low Risk of Wound Complications With Sinus Tarsi Approach for Treatment of Calcaneus Fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this