Ankle fractures are common and many require surgery. After surgery, patients are managed in many different ways depending on their age, physical ability, fracture type, bone quality and surgeon. However, guidelines and evidence suggest that being able to actively move/use the ankle a couple of weeks after surgery in a removable boot might be advantageous. Furthermore, there is debate whether patients require prolonged periods of immobilisation of the ankle in plaster. The aim of this research is therefore to compare two methods of managing ankle fractures after surgery and to provide recommendations for best practice and standardised care.
In this study, 246 patients, two weeks after their surgery, will either be managed in plaster or a support boot (a grey boot which is specially designed to provide full support around the lower leg). When patients attend their routine two week post-operative appointment, their initial (baseline) data will be collected and then they will be chosen by chance to receive either a plaster or support boot.
All patients will further attend the Outpatient department four weeks later (six weeks post-surgery) when data will be collected again. Final follow-up data will be obtained by postal questionnaires returned ten weeks after baseline (twelve weeks post-surgery). Up to twenty patients will also be asked to take part in telephone interviews to describe their experiences of their treatment. These data will then be compared between the two groups in order to evaluate which treatment is best in terms of function, complications, quality of life, psychological, social, economic impact and patient experience as well as costs and benefits to the National Health Service, patients and society. The findings will then be used to determine which treatment is best and which, if any, can be recommended as standard care.
|Poole General Hospital||Mr. Bob Sangar|
|Basingstoke & North Hampshire Hospital||Mr. Robin Elliot|
|Queen Alexandra Hospital and Solent NHS Trust||Mr. Billy Jowett (QAH) and Emma McLoughlin (Solent)|
|Peterborough City Hospital||Mr. Ravindra Kamath|
|Salisbury District Hospital||Mr. Neal Jacobs|
|Yeovil District Hospital||Mr. Matthew Hall|
|Musgrove Park Hospital||Mr. Andrew Kelly|
|Torbay Hospital||Mr. James Davis|