Original Article: Intraoperative chertsey test, is it a reliable alternative to computed tomography scan for diagnosing syndesmotic injuries of the ankle?


1 Departments of Anesthesiology

2 Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology, Imam Hossein Medical Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: The present study aims to evaluate the diagnostic exactitude of the intraoperative Chertsey test in tibiofibular syndesmotic injuries in patients with malleolar fractures, in comparison with a computed tomography (CT) scan. Materials and Methods: In this study, patients with malleolar fractures operated between 2018 and 2020 were examined. Thirty-nine patients were enrolled in the study. A three-dimensional preoperative CT scan was obtained. The opposite unfractured ankle was also scanned and considered as the control group. The Chertsey test was performed during the operation to assess the syndesmosis injury. Then, patients were partitioned into two distinct groups, considering the condition of their ankle, namely the Chertsey positive (unstable syndesmosis) group and the Chertsey negative (stable syndesmosis) group. Results: The outcomes of the present survey illustrated that the Chertsey test was positive in 16 patients (41.03%) and negative in 23 patients (59.07%). The median of all CT scan parameters (anterior tibiofibular distances (TFD), middle TFD, posterior TFD, and maximal TFD and volume) before surgery in the group of patients with a positive Chertsey test was significantly higher, measured against the unfractured control group (P < 0.001 for all parameters). Furthermore, a comparison of CT scan parameters and syndesmosis space volume before surgery between the two groups of patients with positive and negative Chertsey test results showed that the measurement of parameters in Chertsey-positive patients was significantly higher than the Chertsey-negative patients (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Chertsey test could be used to diagnose syndesmosis injuries in patients with malleolar fractures due to its high importance in the outcome of patients.


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