Heel PainUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Associate Professor and Orthopaedic Surgery Residency Program Director Michael D. Johnson, M.D., and Orthopaedic Surgery Resident David Patch, M.D., recently published the first quantitative comparison of the lateral extensile approach (LEA) and sinus tarsi approach (STA) for calcaneal fractures.

In July, the study titled “Exposure of the Calcaneus in the Sinus Tarsi Approach Versus the Lateral Extensile Approach: A Cadaveric Study” was published in Foot and Ankle Specialist. The paper reviews two popular operative approaches for fractures of the calcaneus – or heel bone – which can be a painful and disabling injury.

The authors note that high rates of wound complications with LEA have led to an increased popularity of STA, however, a quantitative analysis of the visualizations of each approach has not prior been done.

Through the study, it was found that both STA and LEA provide equivalent articular surface exposure. Additionally, while the LEA allows for greater exposure of the lateral wall and dorsal tuberosity, the authors warn that this added visualization may not warrant the higher risk of wound complications associated with LEA.

To read the entire study and its methods, click here.