For older adults with unstable ankle fractures, close contact casting is as effective as surgery in restoring ankle function, according to an article in JAMA.
Here are three things to know.
1. This study was a follow-up to a multi-center, randomized controlled trial of close contact casting versus traditional surgery in older adults, which found equivalent ankle function outcomes at six months.
2. Between September 2013 and November 2016, 450 of the 620 randomized participants — 73 percent — responded to follow-up at a median of three years. Surgery and casting participants had equivalent ankle functioning and no significant differences in pain or quality of life.
3. According to the study authors, these findings indicate that treatment of ankle fractures in older adults should focus on obtaining and maintaining a reduction until union by the most conservative means possible.
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