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OBJECTIVE: To predict functional outcomes 6 months after ankle fracture in people aged ≥60 years using post-treatment and 6-week follow-up data to inform anticipated recovery, and identify people who may benefit from additional monitoring or rehabilitation. DESIGN: Prognostic model development and internal validation. SETTING: 24 National Health Service hospitals, UK. METHODS: Participants were the Ankle Injury Management clinical trial cohort (n=618) (ISRCTN04180738), aged 60-96 years, 459/618 (74%) female, treated surgically or conservatively for unstable ankle fracture. Predictors were injury and sociodemographic variables collected at baseline (acute hospital setting) and 6-week follow-up (clinic). Outcome measures were 6-month postinjury (primary) self-reported ankle function, using the Olerud and Molander Ankle Score (OMAS), and (secondary) Timed Up and Go (TUG) test by blinded assessor. Missing data were managed with single imputation. Multivariable linear regression models were built to predict OMAS or TUG, using baseline variables or baseline and 6-week follow-up variables. Models were internally validated using bootstrapping. RESULTS: The OMAS baseline data model included: alcohol per week (units), postinjury EQ-5D-3L visual analogue scale (VAS), sex, preinjury walking distance and walking aid use, smoking status and perceived health status. The baseline/6-week data model included the same baseline variables, minus EQ-5D-3L VAS, plus five 6-week predictors: radiological malalignment, injured ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion range of motion, and 6-week OMAS and EQ-5D-3L. The models explained approximately 23% and 26% of the outcome variation, respectively. Similar baseline and baseline/6 week data models to predict TUG explained around 30% and 32% of the outcome variation, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Predictive accuracy of the prognostic models using commonly recorded clinical data to predict self-reported or objectively measured ankle function was relatively low and therefore unlikely to be beneficial for clinical practice and counselling of patients. Other potential predictors (eg, psychological factors such as catastrophising and fear avoidance) should be investigated to improve predictive accuracy. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN04180738; Post-results.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

Publication Date





ankle fractures, ankle injuries, osteoporotic fractures, prognosis, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Ankle Fractures, Casts, Surgical, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Female, Fracture Fixation, Internal, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Reported Outcome Measures, Prognosis, Quality of Life, Range of Motion, Articular, Recovery of Function, Self Report, State Medicine, United Kingdom