AAOS: 64% of military service members undergoing ankle fracture fixation had returned to daily running at 3 years
64% of military service members undergoing ankle fracture fixation had returned to daily running at 3 years Jordana @ Twitter
Occupational Outcomes and Return to Running Following Internal Fixation of Ankle Fractures in a High-Demand Population
- Justin D. Orr, MD1
- Nicholas A. Kusnezov, MD1
- Brian R. Waterman, MD1
- Julia O. Bader, PhD2
- David M. Romano, MD1
- Philip J. Belmont Jr, MD1
1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX, USA
2Statistical Consulting Laboratory, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, USA
- Justin D. Orr, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 5005 N. Piedras Street, El Paso, TX 79920, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Literature evaluating surgical outcomes after ankle fixation in an active patient population is limited. This study determined occupational outcomes and return to running following ankle fracture fixation in a military cohort.
Methods: All service members undergoing ankle fracture fixation at a single military hospital from August 2007 to August 2012 were reviewed. Univariate analysis determined the association between patient demographic information, type of fracture fixation, and the development of posttraumatic ankle arthritis and functional outcomes, including medical separation, return to running, and reoperation. Seventy-two primary ankle fracture fixation procedures were performed on patients with mean age of 29.1 years. The majority of patients were male (88%), were 25 years of age or older (61%), were of junior rank (57%), underwent unimalleolar fracture fixation (78%), and did not require syndesmotic fixation (54%). The average follow-up was 35.9 months.
Results: The mean time to radiographic union was 8.6 weeks. Twelve service members (17%) were medically separated from the military due to refractory pain following ankle fracture fixation with a minimum of 2-year occupational follow-up. Among military service members undergoing ankle fracture fixation, 64% returned to running. Service members with higher occupational demands had a statistical trend to return to running (odds ratio [OR] 2.49; 95% CI, 0.93-6.68). Junior enlisted rank was a risk factor for medical separation (OR 11.00; 95% CI, 1.34-90.57). Radiographic evidence of posttraumatic ankle osteoarthritis occurred in 8 (11%) service members.
Conclusions: At mean 3-year follow-up, 83% of service members undergoing ankle fracture fixation remained on active duty or successfully completed their military service, while nearly two-thirds returned to occupationally required daily running.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, retrospective case series.