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Zaki Arshad, Edward Jun-Shing Lau, Aiman Aslam, Azeem Thahir, and Matija Krkovic

  • Osteomyelitis refers to an inflammatory process causing bone destruction and necrosis. Managing such a persistent disease is complex, with a number of authors reporting different techniques. This scoping review aims to map and summarize the literature on treatment of chronic femoral and tibial osteomyelitis, in order to improve the reader’s understanding of potential treatments and identify areas of further research.

  • The methodological framework of the Joanna Briggs Institute was followed. A computer-based search was conducted in PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, EMCARE and CINAHL, for articles reporting treatment of chronic tibial/femoral osteomyelitis. Two reviewers independently performed title/abstract and full-text screening according to pre-defined criteria.

  • A total of 1230 articles were identified, with 40 finally included. A range of treatments are reported, with the core principles being removal of infected tissue, dead-space management and antibiotic therapy. The majority (84.5%) of patients presented with stage III or IV disease according to the Cierny–Mader classification, and Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly isolated organism. The proportion of patients achieving remission with no recurrence during follow-up varies from 67.7–100.0%.

  • The majority of studies report excellent outcomes in terms of infection remission and lack of recurrence. However, identifying specific patient or treatment-related factors which may affect outcomes is currently challenging due to the nature of the included studies and unclear reporting of treatment outcomes. It is now important to address this issue and identify such factors using further high-level research methods such as randomized controlled trials and comparative cohort studies.

Cite this article: EFORT Open Rev 2021;6:704-715. DOI: 10.1302/2058-5241.6.200136

Victor Lu, Maria Tennyson, Andrew Zhou, Ravi Patel, Mary D Fortune, Azeem Thahir, and Matija Krkovic

Introduction

  • Fragility ankle fractures are traditionally managed conservatively or with open reduction internal fixation. Tibiotalocalcaneal (TTC) nailing is an alternative option for the geriatric patient. This meta-analysis provides the most detailed analysis of TTC nailing for fragility ankle fractures.

Methods

  • A systematic search was performed on MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science, identifying 14 studies for inclusion. Studies including patients with a fragility ankle fracture, defined according to NICE guidelines as a low-energy fracture obtained following a fall from standing height or less, that were treated with TTC nail were included. Patients with a previous fracture of the ipsilateral limb, fibular nails, and pathological fractures were excluded. This review was registered in PROSPERO (ID: CRD42021258893).

Results

  • A total of 312 ankle fractures were included. The mean age was 77.3 years old. In this study, 26.9% were male, and 41.9% were diabetics. The pooled proportion of superficial infection was 10% (95% CI: 0.06–0.16), deep infection 8% (95% CI: 0.06–0.11), implant failure 11% (95% CI: 0.07–0.15), malunion 11% (95% CI: 0.06–0.18), and all-cause mortality 27% (95% CI: 0.20–0.34). The pooled mean post-operative Olerud–Molander ankle score was 54.07 (95% CI: 48.98–59.16). Egger’s test (P = 0.56) showed no significant publication bias.

Conclusion

  • TTC nailing is an adequate alternative option for fragility ankle fractures. However, current evidence includes mainly case series with inconsistent post-operative rehabilitation protocols. Prospective randomised control trials with long follow-up times and large cohort sizes are needed to guide the use of TTC nailing for ankle fractures.