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Authors Finnan R, Funk L, Pinzur MS, Rabin S, Lomasney L, Jukenelis D
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Journal Foot Ankle Int Volume: 26 Issue: 12 Pages: 1038-41
Publish Date 2005 Dec
PubMed ID 16390636
Abstract

While open reduction of displaced ankle fractures generally is accepted as the standard of care, relatively little is known about the health related quality of life after treatment. It is generally accepted that clinical results of treatment for supination-external rotation stage IV ankle fractures are favorable. The goal of this investigation was to determine the relationship between clinical results and health-related quality of life outcome measures in a consecutive series of patients treated for closed supination-external rotation stage IV ankle fractures.Twenty-six of 156 patients who had operative treatment for closed, displaced supination-external rotation stage IV ankle fractures during a 9-year period, completed the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment (SMFA) outcome questionnaire. Radiographs and clinical records were reviewed to determine quality of operative repair, postoperative morbidity, and the development of post-traumatic arthritis.There were no postoperative complications. Of the 26 patients who returned the SMFA questionnaires, 19 had “good,” and seven had “fair” reduction of their fractures. Six showed radiographic evidence of arthritis at followup. Study participants reported scores that were similar to the general population in five of the six domains of the SMFA. Their scores in the mobility index were statistically less favorable (23.72 vs. 13.61, p = 0.016) when compared to the general population. Participants with “good” operative reductions and no evidence of arthritis at followup showed no significant difference to the general population. Participants with either a “fair” operative reduction or evidence of postoperative arthritis at followup had less favorable scores in the daily activities (mean 13.45 vs. 11.82, p = 0.004), mobility (43.43 vs. 13.61, p = 0.001), dysfunction (32.89 vs. 12.70, p = 0.014), and bother (35.80 vs. 13.77, p = 0.020) domains, when compared to the general population.The results of this investigation suggest that patients with excellent radiographic operative reductions and no arthritis as early as 6 months after surgery sustain no lasting unfavorable effect on health related quality of life. Patients with “fair” radiographic reduction, or presence of arthritis or both at followup, are likely to have a negative effect on their quality of life.

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