Chronic ankle morbidity in obese children following an acute ankle injury

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Jan;159(1):33-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.159.1.33.


Objective: To examine the relationship between childhood obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) and long-term morbidity after an acute ankle sprain.

Design: Six-month prospective cohort study with follow-up telephone questionnaires at 6 weeks and 6 months.

Setting: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center emergency department.

Patients: Children between the ages of 8 and 18 years who presented with a chief complaint of an acute ankle injury were enrolled in the study. Children with ankle fractures were excluded. Exposed children were defined as those with a BMI in the 85th or greater percentile for age. Nonexposed children were defined as those with a BMI in the less than 85th percentile for age.

Main outcome measures: Persistent symptoms of pain, swelling, or weakness; pain during or after exercise; and recurrent ankle injury.

Results: A total of 199 children were enrolled. The exposed and nonexposed groups were similar in terms of sex, age, and ethnicity. A total of 164 (93%) had complete follow-up at 6 months. Six months after an ankle injury, children with a BMI in the 85th or greater percentile for age were more likely to sustain persistent symptoms (relative risk, 1.70; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-2.61).

Conclusion: Overweight children are more likely to have persistent symptoms 6 months after an acute ankle sprain.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Ohio
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires