Document Type : Research Article
Introduction: Ankle fractures are extremely common. However, the outcomes of operatively treated bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fractures remain unclear. We aimed to evaluate clinical, functional and radiological outcomes of operatively treated bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fractures.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of all patients with operatively treated ankle fractures for a period of 3 years was performed. Demographics, fracture pattern, operative details, postoperative radiographs, and complications were obtained,studied and analyzed statistically. Outcome variables included union rates, pain ratings using the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Olerud and Molander (O&M) score,satisfaction with surgery and surgical complications.
Results: Sixty patients with bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fractures were recruited. At 1 year postoperatively, most patients regained good function and had mostly good O&M scores. There were no notable differences in terms of VAS and O&M scores for both the bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fracture patient group. However, 33 (55%) of 60 patients had residual pain. Thirty seven (62%) patients complained of stiffness, and 27 (45%) patients had ankle swelling.
Conclusion: Most of our patients despite some residual deficits recovered well in their second year following surgery. No difference was observed in functional outcome between bimalleolar and trimalleolar ankle fractures, although it is a great concern that notable number of patients will continue to have residual symptoms . Hence residual symptoms and functional limitation must be emphasized to patients prior to surgery to manage postoperative expectations.