We have reviewed the early complications of 121 surgically treated closed ankle fractures; the complication rate was 30%, with 14 major and 22 minor complications. Fractures with skin blisters or abrasions had more than double the overall complication rate. Fracture-dislocations had three times as many major complications as simple fractures, and those not fixed within 24 hours had a 44% major complication rate compared to 5.3% in those operated upon as emergencies. Patients transferred from another medical facility had high complication rates, especially if they had fracture-dislocations. We conclude that operative treatment of ankle fractures must be delivered in a timely fashion, especially in severe fractures. We would caution against the practice of transferring patients with serious ankle fractures before completion of definitive care.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991EV32500020
View details for PubMedID 1991782