Calcaneal fractures comprise 1 to 2 percent of all fractures. Approximately 75% of calcaneal fractures are intra-articular. The management of intra-articular calcaneal fractures remains controversial. Nonoperative treatment options include elevation, ice, early mobilization, and cyclic compression of the plantar arch. Operative treatment options include closed reduction and percutaneous pin fixation, open reduction and internal fixation, and arthrodesis. The effect of operative versus nonoperative treatment has been the focus of several comparative studies.

This study was designed to determine the effect of operative treatment compared with nonoperative treatment on the rate of union, complications, and functional outcome after intra-articular calcaneal fracture in adults.