Performance after surgical treatment of patients with ankle fractures - 14-month follow-up

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Background and PurposeFew studies have been published that extensively evaluate physical outcome after ankle fractures. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge of how physical outcome correlates with subjective assessments of symptoms and function after ankle fracture. The purpose of the present study was to investigate outcome after surgical treatment of patients with ankle fracture and to study how well the experience of symptoms and function correlated with the results of clinical physical tests.MethodThe study used a retrospective cross-sectional study design. Fifty-four patients, aged 17–64 years, were evaluated 14 months post-operatively. Evaluation included a questionnaire containing the Olerud-Molander Ankle Score (OMAS) (Olerud and Molander, 1984) and some additional questions. Patients were also called for a physical and radiographic examination.ResultsThe median OMAS obtained was 75 (range 10-100). Only 10 (19%) of the patients reported complete recovery and 16 (30%) scored ≥90, indicating good function. The results of the following clinical tests were correlated with OMAS: loaded dorsal extension; ankle circumference; number of toe and heel rises; and single-limb stance. Those who showed poorer results in physical outcome on the affected side had lower OMAS. No ankles with clear mechanical instability were found, although almost half the patients experienced functional instability that, in turn, was associated with decreased total OMAS.ConclusionsBoth subjectively scored function and physical performance after surgically treated ankle fractures indicated poor results. One reason for this might be insufficient rehabilitation.

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