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J Man Manip Ther. 2010 Mar;18(1):22-8. doi: 10.1179/106698110X12595770849524.

Evidence-based treatment for ankle injuries: a clinical perspective.

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The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Australia.


The most common ankle injuries are ankle sprain and ankle fracture. This review discusses treatments for ankle sprain (including the management of the acute sprain and chronic instability) and ankle fracture, using evidence from recent systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials. After ankle sprain, there is evidence for the use of functional support and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is weak evidence suggesting that the use of manual therapy may lead to positive short-term effects. Electro-physical agents do not appear to enhance outcomes and are not recommended. Exercise may reduce the occurrence of recurrent ankle sprains and may be effective in managing chronic ankle instability. After surgical fixation for ankle fracture, an early introduction of activity, administered via early weight-bearing or exercise during the immobilization period, may lead to better outcomes. However, the use of a brace or orthosis to enable exercise during the immobilization period may also lead to a higher rate of adverse events, suggesting that this treatment regimen needs to be applied judiciously. After the immobilization period, the focus of treatment for ankle fracture should be on a progressive exercise program.


Ankle injuries; Evidence-based practice; Rehabilitation; Systematic review; Therapy

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