The Immediate Effects of Different Types of Ankle Support Introduced 6 Weeks After Surgical Internal Fixation for Ankle Fracture on Gait and Pain: A Randomized Crossover Trial.
Keene DJ., Willett K., Lamb SE.
STUDY DESIGN: Randomized 3-treatment, 3-period crossover trial. BACKGROUND: There is variation in clinical practice regarding the type of ankle support used to aid recovery after ankle fracture internal fixation surgery. OBJECTIVE: To determine the immediate effects of different ankle supports commonly issued to patients 6 weeks after surgery. METHODS: Participants were 18 adults, 6 weeks after internal fixation for transsyndesmotic/infrasyndesmotic fracture, in a major trauma center in the UK. Interventions were a stirrup brace and walker boot compared with Tubigrip. Outcomes were (1) step-length and single-limb support time asymmetry (percentage comparing injured and uninjured limbs), (2) step width, (3) gait velocity, and (4) pain during walking (visual analog scale, 0-100). RESULTS: Participants (mean ± SD age, 47 ± 14 years) included 8 women and 10 men, 6 weeks after surgical internal fixation for ankle fracture. Single-limb support time asymmetry reduced by 3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0%, 6%; P = .02) in the stirrup brace and by 5% (95% CI: 2%, 7%; P = .001) in the walker boot compared with Tubigrip. Step width was 1.2 cm (95% CI: 0.6, 1.7; P