Compression stockings in ankle sprain: a multicenter randomized study

Am J Emerg Med. 2014 Sep;32(9):1005-10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2014.05.054. Epub 2014 Jun 12.


Objectives: Ankle sprain is a frequently encountered traumatic injury in emergency departments and is associated with important health expenses. However, the appropriate care of this traumatic injury remains a matter of debate. We tested the hypothesis that compression stockings speed up recovery from ankle sprain.

Methods: Recent (<48 hours) cases of ankle sprain without other traumatic injury in patients aged between 18 and 55 years were included. Patients were randomly allocated to placebo Jersey or class II compression stockings (Venoflex; Thuasne, Levallois-Perret, France). The primary end point was the time to recovery of normal painless walking without requirement for analgesic drug. Secondary end points were time to return to sport activity, pain, analgesic consumption, and ankle edema (bimalleolar and midfoot circumferences).

Results: We randomized 126 patients and analyzed 117 patients (60 in the placebo group and 57 in the compression group). The median time to normal painless walking was not significantly decreased (P = .16). No significant differences were observed in pain, analgesic consumption, and bimalleloar and midfoot circumferences. No safety issue was reported. In the subgroup of patients with regular sport activity, the time to return to sport activity was shorter in patients treated with compression stockings (P = .02).

Conclusions: Compression stockings failed to significantly modify the time to return to normal painless walking in ankle sprain. A beneficial effect was observed only in a subgroup of patients, as compression stockings significantly decreased the time to return to sport activity.

Trial registration: NCT01259752.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Recovery of Function
  • Sprains and Strains / therapy*
  • Stockings, Compression*
  • Time Factors

Associated data