If the Volkmann's fracture has a significant proportion of the articular surface, it should be fixed anatomically.
It is possible to obtain good access to the posterolateral fracture and fibular fracture through a single posterolateral approach. Direct reduction of the Volkmann's fragment is possible, facilitating anatomic reduction and fixation. This requires the patient to be positioned prone.
Alternatively, the fibular fracture can be fixed through a standard lateral approach and the Volkmann's fragment can be indirectly reduced by dorsiflexing the ankle and then secured with screws inserted through anterior stab incisions.
Order of fixation
In these factures the talus is often unstable within the ankle mortise. Stability is restored when the fibular fracture is stabilized. The Volkmann's fragment can then be reduced and fixed.
Choice of implant – Lateral fixation
As this is a simple fracture a lag screw and neutralization 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.
There is a rupture of the deltoid ligament. Once the talus is stabilized within the ankle mortise, the ruptured deltoid ligament usually heals without the need for surgical repair.
Occasionally the ligament may lie between the talus and the medial malleolus blocking reduction, in which case the medial side will need to be opened to remove ligament. Once the medial side is open the surgeon may choose to repair the ligament.
Note on approaches
If the direct reduction and fixation of the Volkmann's fragment is chosen, a posterolateral approach is used, both for this fragment and the fibular fracture.
Alternatively, the fibular fracture may be approached directly through a standard lateral approach with additional anterior stab incisions.