Functional outcome and quality of life in patients with Type B ankle fractures: a two-year follow-up study

J Orthop Trauma. 1999 Jun-Jul;13(5):363-8. doi: 10.1097/00005131-199906000-00007.


Objectives: To compare a specific score designed for ankle fractures with a general quality-of-life instrument as an outcome measure, and to describe the two-year results for patients with Type B ankle fractures.

Design: Follow-up study.

Setting: Large teaching hospital, Sweden.

Patients: Fifty-three patients, aged nineteen to sixty-three years, treated operatively for Type B ankle fractures. Forty-one patients completed the follow-up.

Main outcome measurements: Olerud Molander Ankle Score (OMA score), Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36), and a visual analogue scale (VAS).

Results: A significant correlation was found between the OMA score and SF-36 subscores for physical functioning, physical and emotional role function, social functioning, and bodily pain (p < 0.05). VAS for physical symptoms correlated with the OMA score and with all SF-36 subscores (p < 0.001). The mean OMA score was 84 (standard deviation = 22.5); 64 percent of patients scored 90 or more. Patients with an OMA score <90 more often had a B3-type fracture (p < 0.05) and more often considered themselves as not recovered compared with patients with an OMA score > or =90 (p < 0.001). Only thirteen patients (36 percent) reported a complete recovery. Sixteen patients (44 percent) had work-related problems and twenty-two (61 percent) had some problems with sport activities. The SF-36 subscores for physical functioning, physical and emotional role function, vitality, and mental health were lower compared with an average Swedish population (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the SF-36 Health Survey may be useful in measuring outcome after an ankle fracture, that disability, i.e., self-perceived limitations in everyday life, is common after B-type ankle fractures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / diagnosis
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation / methods
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Sweden
  • Treatment Outcome