Few patients who underwent ankle fracture fixation experienced pain or had restricted function and many patients had improved long-term functional scores, despite the presence of radiographic arthritis, according to results with more than a decade of follow-up.
The study included 141 patients who underwent open reduction and internal fixation of an unstable ankle fracture. Main outcome measures included Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) scores and radiographic outcomes based on the van Dijk criteria at a mean of 11.6-years follow-up.
Compared with SMFA scores at 1 year, results showed improvement in long-term SMFA scores. Based on SMFA scores, researchers found American Society of Anesthesiologists class 1 or 2 was a significant predictor of recovery. Researchers found evidence of radiographic arthritis for 63% of follow-up radiographs, including 31% with mild osteoarthritis; 22% with moderate osteoarthritis; and 10% with severe osteoarthritis. At latest follow-up, researchers noted fracture dislocation was a significant predictor of radiographic post-traumatic osteoarthritis. – by Casey Tingle
Disclosures: Regan reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.