Cast no better than brace for broken ankles: Study
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Using a cast is not more effective than a brace for treating broken ankles, according to University of Warwick researchers—a conclusion that could hasten the decline of the tradition of signing a cast.

The study assessed function, quality of life, resource use, and complications in adults treated with plaster cast immobilization versus a removable brace for ankle fracture.

669 adults aged 18 years and older with an acute ankle fracture suitable for cast immobilization: 334 were randomized to a plaster cast and 335 to a removable brace. The mean age of participants was 46 years and 381 were women. 502 participants completed the study.

- No statistically significant difference was found in the Olerud Molander ankle score between the cast and removable brace groups at 16 weeks.

- No clinically significant differences were found in the Olerud Molander ankle scores at other time points, in the secondary unadjusted, imputed, or per-protocol analyses.

Traditional plaster casting was not found to be superior to functional bracing in adults with an ankle fracture. No statistical difference was found in the Olerud Molander ankle score between the trial arms at 16 weeks.

BMJ
Source: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1506
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