One hundred and fifty-five patients who had a closed, displaced medial malleolar, bimalleolar, or trimalleolar fracture of the ankle were managed with medial malleolar fixation with use of either 4.0-millimeter orientruded polylactide screws (eighty-three patients, study group) or 4.0-millimeter stainless-steel screws (seventy-two patients, control group). All lateral malleolar fractures were stabilized with standard metallic implants. At an average of thirty-seven months (range, twenty-one to fifty-nine months), the radiographic and functional results in the two groups were equivalent. Differences between the two groups with regard to the rates of operative and postoperative complications were not statistically significant. Late spontaneous drainage of the hydrolyzed polylactide was not noted in any patient in the study group. The prevalence of late tenderness over the medial malleolar implant was lower in the patients in whom the fracture had been stabilized with polylactide screws. We conclude that polylactide screws are a safe and effective alternative to stainless-steel screws for the fixation of displaced medial malleolar fractures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine