August 15, 2014
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Multilayer compression therapy reduces ankle, hindfoot edema more quickly

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A faster reduction of ankle and hindfoot edema resulted from multilayer compression therapy and may be an alternative treatment for patients with ankle and hindfoot fractures, according to study results.

In a controlled, single-blinded study, researchers randomly assigned 58 patients with unilateral ankle or hindfoot fractures to a cold pack control group, a multilayer compression bandage group or an impulse compression group. Patients were analyzed according to the intention-to-treat principle. The study’s primary outcome was the reduction of edema as measured with the figure-of-eight-20 method.

Significant differences were seen in edema reduction between the bandage group and the control group both preoperatively and postoperatively, according to the researchers. In the control group, the researchers found a reduction in median preoperative edema of –2 mm, compared with –11 in the bandage group and –0.3 mm in the impulse compression group, after 2 days of intervention.

Median edema changes were +3.5 mm in the control group, –7.3 mm in the bandage group and +5 mm in the impulse compression group after 2 days postoperatively, according to the researchers.

The researchers concluded that although multilayer compression therapy appeared to be a viable alternative to treatment with ice, intermittent impulse compression applied without any extra compression from bandage or stockingette and without elevation during off-session periods was not.

Disclosure: See the study for a full list of all authors’ relevant financial disclosures.