Comparison of SF-36 and Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment in Recovery From Fixation of Unstable Ankle Fractures

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Abstract

abstract

This study assessed whether the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment questionnaire had fewer floor or ceiling effects than the SF-36 in evaluation of the functional recovery of operatively stabilized isolated ankle fractures. We also hypothesized that the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment would be more effective than the (Short Form) SF-36 in discriminating the functional recovery of different groups of patients after an ankle fracture. One hundred twenty-seven patients with an isolated ankle fracture were evaluated with the Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment and SF-36 questionnaires after operative fracture fixation. The Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment had fewer floor and ceiling effects in long-term follow-up of patients with an isolated unstable ankle fracture. The Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment and SF-36 both appear able to assess general patient health, and both instruments identify patients who had significant problems with functional recovery. The Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment may be a more effective single instrument to track a patient's functional recovery than the SF-36 if it is able to assess general health and identify patients who are having poorer functional activity without significant floor or ceiling effects.

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