Geographical Differences in Wound Complication Rates Following the Sinus Tarsi Approach in Displaced Intra-articular Calcaneal Fractures: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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Background: The sinus tarsi approach (STA) has gained popularity for the treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal frac-tures. No large studies comparing wound complications worldwide after STA surgery are available. The aim of this systematic review was to compare postoperative wound complication (POWC) and postoperative wound infection (POWI) rates following STA surgery between continents and countries and their differences in climate. Methods: A literature search was performed using the databases of PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Studies pub-lished before January 1, 2000, including < 10 patients and written in a language other than English were excluded. Results: In total, 86 studies containing 4,392 surgeries via STA from 20 different countries were included. The mean POWC was 5.9% and the mean POWI was 4.4%. The highest median POWC rate was in North America (8.5%) and the lowest in South America (2.0%). No significant differences were found in the POWC and POWI rates between countries (p = 0.178 and p = 0.570, respectively), but significant differences were found between the POWC and POWI rates between continents (p = 0.011 and p = 0.036, respectively). The number of surgeries per year and climate differences, as represented by mean local temperature, were not correlated with both the POWC/POWI rates and functional outcome scores. Conclusions: Significant differences between the POWC and POWI rates were found between continents but not between indi-vidual countries. With a mean POWC of 5.9% and a mean POWI rate of 4.4%, STA has an intrinsic low risk for complications given the minimally invasive nature of the approach and is inevitably becoming the gold standard for calcaneal surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalCiOS Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Calcaneus
  • Fracture fixation
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Postoperative complications
  • Surgical site infections

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