General considerations

As the medial fracture is an intra-articular injury, it should be fixed anatomically.

Order of fixation

The choice of fixing the medial or lateral side first may be dictated by the surgeon's preference. If there is significant comminution on the lateral side, the fibula must be brought out to length and the lateral malleolus returned to its anatomic position.For this reason, some surgeons prefer to fix this side first. As the medial fracture is the simpler, some surgeons prefer to fix this first.

Choice of implant – Lateral fixation

As this is a multifragmentary fracture a bridging plate is the most appropriate method of fixation.

Anatomic plates are available, and their lower profile may reduce postoperative discomfort due to prominent hardware. As these plates use locking screws, they may provide more secure fixation in osteoporotic bone.

Choice of implant – Medial fixation

Medial malleolar fractures are usually fixed with lag screws.  If the fragment is too small or in poor quality bone, K-wires and tension band wiring may be better.


Note on approaches

The two following approaches are used: