Background: Ankle fracture fixation is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures. Although the results are generally favourable, complications are not uncommon, particularly in the case of surgical site infections. These have considerable impact on both postoperative morbidity and healthcare costs. The purpose of this study was to determine the infection rate following ankle fracture fixation and elucidate variables in their causation.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 50 consecutive patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of an ankle fracture. The study group consisted of 26 females and 24 males with an average age of 43 (Range 16-82) years.
Results: Problems with superficial infections were noted in seven patients and deep infections in five. Of the latter, four patients underwent further surgery including two that had their metal work removed. With use of the Fishers exact test we determined that only smoking and a bimalleolar fracture pattern were significant variables, having p-values of 0.02 and 0.04 respectively.
Conclusion: We conclude that smoker and/or patient with bimalleolar injury have are more at risk of developing surgical site infection and its implications on their functional recovery Following Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of Ankle Fractures.
Ankle fracture, open reduction internal fixation, infection, complication