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AIMS: To compare the cost-utility of removable brace compared with cast in the management of adult patients with ankle fracture. METHODS: A within-trial economic evaluation conducted from the UK NHS and personnel social services (PSS) perspective. Health resources and quality-of-life data were collected as part of the Ankle Injury Rehabilitation (AIR) multicentre, randomized controlled trial over a 12-month period using trial case report forms and patient-completed questionnaires. Cost-utility analysis was estimated in terms of the incremental cost per quality adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Estimate uncertainty was explored by bootstrapping, visualized on the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio plane. Net monetary benefit and probability of cost-effectiveness were evaluated at a range of willingness-to-pay thresholds and visualized graphically. RESULTS: The incremental cost and QALYs of using brace over a 12-month period were £46.73 (95% confidence interval (CI) £-9 to £147) and 0.0141 (95% CI -0.005 to 0.033), respectively. The cost per QALY gained was £3,318. The probability of brace being cost-effective at a £30,000 per QALY willingness-to-pay threshold was 88%. The results remained robust to a range of sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSION: This within-trial economic evaluation found that it is probable that using a removable brace provides good value to the NHS when compared to cast, in the management of adults with ankle fracture. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2022;3(6):455-462.

Original publication




Journal article


Bone jt open

Publication Date





455 - 462


Achilles tendon rupture, Ankle Injury, EQ-5D, EQ-5D-5L, Student T-test, ankle fracture, cast, cost-utility analysis, deep vein thrombosis, fracture of the ankle, immobilization, randomized controlled trial, standard deviation