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Quantification of Posterior Ankle Exposure Through an Achilles Tendon-Splitting Versus Posterolateral Approach
ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAM HOUSTON TX
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The optimal surgical exposure to the posterior ankle for trauma and reconstruction is a source of debate. We hypothesized that the Achilles tendon-splitting approach would provide greater exposure to the posterior ankle than the posterolateral approach. Forty surgical approaches were performed from twenty fresh-frozen cadavers. Achilles tendon splitting and posterolateral approaches were performed using a randomized crossover design for surgical sequence. Six landmarks medial malleolus, ankle joint, subtalar joint, incisura fibularis, lateral malleolus and medial gutter were identified by direct visualization or palpation. A calibrated digital photograph was taken and Image J httprsb.info nih.govij was used to calculate the surface area of the distal tibia and talus exposed in neutral and dorsiflexion. Results Using a posterolateral approach, the average distal tibia exposed was 11.3cm2 in neutral and 10.2 cm2 in dorsiflexion. The average talus exposed was 2.0 cm2 in neutral and 2.4 cm2 in dorsiflexion. Using an Achilles tendon-splitting approach, the average exposed distal tibia was 33 more 15.0 cm2 in neutral and 43 more 14.6 cm2 in dorsiflexion. The average talus exposed was 47 more 3.0 cm2 in neutral and 76 more 4.2 cm2 in dorsiflexion. All increases in exposure were statistically significant.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE