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Fixation with bioabsorbable screws for the treatment of fractures of the ankle
RW Bucholz; S Henry; MB Henley
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1994 Mar 01;76(3):319-324
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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.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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