Functional Outcome and Quality of Life in Patients With Type B Ankle Fractures: A Two-Year Follow-Up Study

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Objectives:To compare a specific score designed for ankle fractures with a general quality-of-life instrument as an outcome measure, and to describe the two-year results for patients with Type B ankle fractures.Design:Follow-up study.Setting:Large teaching hospital, Sweden.Patients:Fifty-three patients, aged nineteen to sixty-three years, treated operatively for Type B ankle fractures. Forty-one patients completed the follow-up.Main Outcome Measurements:Olerud Molander Ankle Score (OMA score), Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), and a visual analogue scale (VAS).Results:A significant correlation was found between the OMA score and SF-36 subscores for physical functioning, physical and emotional role function, social functioning, and bodily pain (p < 0.05). VAS for physical symptoms correlated with the OMA score and with all SF-36 subscores (p < 0.001). The mean OMA score was 84 (standard deviation = 22.5); 64 percent of patients scored 90 or more. Patients with an OMA score <90 more often had a B3-type fracture (p < 0.05) and more often considered themselves as not recovered compared with patients with an OMA score ≥90 (p < 0.001). Only thirteen patients (36 percent) reported a complete recovery. Sixteen patients (44 percent) had work-related problems and twenty-two (61 percent) had some problems with sport activities. The SF-36 subscores for physical functioning, physical and emotional role function, vitality, and mental health were lower compared with an average Swedish population (p < 0.05).Conclusions:Our results suggest that the SF-36 Health Survey may be useful in measuring outcome after an ankle fracture, that disability, i.e., self-perceived limitations in everyday life, is common after B-type ankle fractures.

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