Outcome and quality of life after surgically treated ankle fractures in patients over 65 years of age

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Despite high incidence of ankle fractures in the elderly, studies evaluating outcome and impact of quality of life in this age group specifically are sparse. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcome and quality of life 6 and 12 months after injury in patients 65 years or older who had been operated on due to an ankle fracture.

Sixty patients 65 years or older were invited to participate in the study. 6 and 12 months after the injury a questionnaire including inquiry to participate, the Olerud-Molander Ankle Score (OMAS), Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Linear Analogue Scale (LAS), Self-rated Ankle Function and some supplementary questions was sent home to the patients. The supplementary questions concerned subjective experience of ankle instability, sporting and physical activity level before injury and recaptured activity level at follow-ups, need of walking aid before injury, state of living before injury and at follow-ups and co-morbidities. After the 12-month follow-up the patients were also called for a radiological examination.

Fifty patients (83%) answered the questionnaire at 6-month and 46 (77%) at the 12-month follow-up. Although, 45 (90%) fractures were low-energy trauma 44 (88%) were bi- or trimalleolar and post-operative reduction results were complete in 23 (46%) ankles. The median OMAS improved from 60 (Interquartile range (IQR) 36) at 6-month to 70 (IQR 35) at 12-month (p = 0.002), but at 12-month still sixty percent or more of the patients reported pain, swelling, problems when stair-climbing and reduced activities of daily life. Twenty (40%) rated their ankle function as 'good' or 'very good' at 6-month and 30 (60%) at 12-month. Forty-one (82%) were physically active before injury but still one year after only 18/41 had returned to their pre-injury physical activity level. According to SF-36 four dimensions differed from the age- and gender matched normative data of the Swedish population, 'physical function', 'role physical' and 'role emotional' were below norms at 6-month for women (p = 0.010, p = 0.024 and 0.031) and 'general health' was above norms at 12-month for men (p = 0.044).

One year after surgically treated ankle fractures a majority of patients continue to have symptoms and reported functional limitations. However, SF-36 scores indicate that only females had functional status below the age- and gender matched normative data of the Swedish population.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ortopedi
TidskriftBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Utgåva nummer127
StatusPublished - 2007
Peer review utfördJa