Syndesmotic Suture Button Fixation Results in Higher Tegner Activity Scale Scores When Compared to Screw Fixation: A Multicenter Investigation

Mitchel R. Obey, Kevin Schafer, Lauren M. Matheny, Christopher M. McAndrew, Michael J. Gardner, William M. Ricci, Thomas O. Clanton, Jonathon D. Backus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Suture buttons and metal screws have been used and compared in biomechanical, radiographic, and clinical outcome studies for syndesmotic injuries, with neither implant demonstrating clear superiority. The aim of this study was to compare clinical outcomes of both implants. Methods: Patients who underwent syndesmosis fixation at 2 separate academic centers from 2010 through 2017 were compared. Thirty-one patients treated with a suture button and 21 patients treated with screws were included. Patients in each group were matched by age, sex, and Orthopaedic Trauma Association fracture classification. Tegner Activity Scale (TAS), Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM), patient satisfaction score, surgical failure, and reoperation rates were compared. Results: Patients who underwent suture button fixation had significantly higher TAS scores than those who underwent screw fixation (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in FAAM ADL scores between cohorts (p = 0.08). Symptomatic hardware removal rates were similar (3.2% suture button cohort vs 9.0% in screw cohort). One patient (4.5%) underwent revision surgery secondary to syndesmotic malreduction after screw fixation, for a reoperation rate of 13.5%. Conclusion: Patients with unstable syndesmotic injuries treated with suture button fixation had higher mean TAS scores compared to patients treated with screws. Foot and Ankle Ability Measure and ADL scores in these cohorts were similar. Level of Evidence: Level 3 Retrospective Matched Case-Cohort.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • ankle fracture
  • suture button
  • syndesmosis
  • syndesmotic fixation

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