A comparison of two interventions in the treatment of severe ankle sprains and lateral malleolar avulsion fractures
evidence and practice    

A comparison of two interventions in the treatment of severe ankle sprains and lateral malleolar avulsion fractures

Sarah Powell Advanced nurse practitioner, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Aim Stable ankle injuries are highly prevalent in the UK. Prevention of complications and reoccurrence is essential. The literature shows that plaster of Paris and AirLoc brace are clinically effective treatments for such injuries. However, there is no research measuring patients’ satisfaction with these treatments. This study compared options in the treatment of severe ankle sprains and distal fibular avulsion fractures from patients’ perspectives. The aim was to determine patients’ preferred treatment between below knee plaster cast and AirLoc brace in the management of stable ankle injuries.

Method A total of 39 patients who presented at an urban hospital with stable ankle injuries were recruited into a randomised controlled trial. Patient satisfaction levels were measured by questionnaire one week into treatment. The null hypothesis was ‘there is no significant difference in satisfaction levels between the two devices’.

Findings There were statistically significant higher patient satisfaction levels in the AirLoc group compared to the plaster cast group. After analysis by the unrelated t-test, the null hypothesis was rejected. Comfort, daily activities, sleep, work and social life were the main contributing factors. Additionally, 67% of the AirLoc group compared to 46% of the plaster cast group were able to return to work. The number needed to treat for one additional AirLoc patient to return to work was 4.8 (five patients).

Conclusion Patients’ preferred treatment is the AirLoc brace. The inquiry method could be used to provide patient-centred care in other fields.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2019.e1945

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

sarah.powell17@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Powell S (2019) A comparison of two interventions in the treatment of severe ankle sprains and lateral malleolar avulsion fractures. Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2019.e1945

Published online: 28 August 2019