DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.638 ISSN:

1084 The Prognosis of Physical Function Following Ankle Fractures. a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

M Chowdhury
  • Surgery



This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to quantify the prognosis of physical function following a traumatic ankle fracture. The purpose of the study was to review the existing literature with a view to providing essential information for patient care and also to update the existing literature for healthcare professionals.


A literature search was performed for studies using electronic databases MEDLINE (Interface: EBSCOhost); EMBASE (Interface: OvidSP); CINAHL (Interface: EBSCOhost); CENTRAL (Interface: Cochrane Library.) Two reviewers searched citations for inclusion, evaluated quality of methodology, risk of bias and extracted appropriate data relating to physical function and activity limitation. A 100-point scale was used to conform the data where higher scores correlated with improved outcomes. Estimating equations of a general nature was used to conduct the meta-analysis.


57 studies were included. There is significant activity limitation in the short term (6 week: mean 48.9,95% confidence interval), but it improved in the short-to-medium term (6 month: mean 73.2, 95% confidence interval.) In the long term the recovery was not as marked (12 month: mean 84%, 95% confidence interval.) The demographics that had the worst results were male and the older populations.


Meta-analysis demonstrated that adults with traumatic ankle fractures improve rapidly in the initial stages but the recovery plateaus and is incomplete at 24 months. Healthcare professionals may consider this information to influence patient care.

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