Short term outcome after fracture of the ankle at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka
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In the University Teaching Hospital, fractures of the ankle joint are common and like in most developing countries the majority of ankle fractures are treated non-operatively. This is because of the shortage of resources and also that of the required expertise. Results of the outcome of non-operative treatment is generally considered inferior to operative treatment. It is therefore important to examine our current practices and measure the outcome. Forty patients with ankle fractures were included in the study. Each patient had a proforma filled, in which the type of fracture was classified both according to the Danis-Weber classification and the Lauge-Hansen classification. Also noted was the type of treatment given and the appearance of the immediate post-operative radiographs. At between three and six months the outcome was measured using a subjective and objective scoring system and where possible a repeat radiograph was taken and the reduction noted to see whether it had been maintained or whether it had worsened. The common type of fracture found was Weber type B and supination external rotation. Most of the patients with ankle fractures were managed non-operatively and most had returned to work by three months. The clinical outcome of most patients was acceptable although radiologically only 9 out of 17 had radiographs that showed a maintained reduction.