Predictors of Functional Outcome in Unstable Ankle Fractures Treated Surgically – A Prospective Cohort Study
Introduction: Unstable ankle injuries require anatomical reduction and stabilization for optimal outcome. In spite of adequate care, a few patients have poor outcome. In this study, we assessed the risk factors that predict the clinical outcomes in surgically treated unstable ankle fractures.
Materials and Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted on 68 patients who underwent surgical management for an unstable ankle injury. Demographic details, fracture type and associated medical comorbidities were recorded. Pre-operative radiographic assessment was done for all patients. At the end of one year follow-up, clinical (American Orthopaedic foot and ankle society- AOFAS and Olerud-Molander ankle - OMAS) scores and radiological parameters were assessed and analyzed.
Results: Fracture dislocation (0.008), diabetes mellitus (0.017), level of alchohol consumption (0.008) and preoperative talocrural angle (TCA) > 100° (0.03) were significant predictors of poor outcomes as per AOFAS. Fracture dislocation (0.029), diabetes mellitus (0.004), preoperative TCA > 100° (0.009), female gender (0.001), age more than 60 years (0.002) and open injuries (0.034) had significantly poor outcome as per OMAS. Other parameters (smoking, hypertension, classification, syndesmotic injury, medial clear space and tibiofibular overlap) did not affect the outcome significantly.
Conclusion: Our study showed that poor outcome predictors in unstable ankle fractures are age >60 years, female gender, diabetes mellitus, alcohol consumption, fracture dislocation, open fractures and pre-op TCA >100°.
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