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Orthopedics. 2014 Mar;37(3):e226-9. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20140225-53.

Incidence of syndesmotic injury.


Injury to the tibiofibular syndesmosis can occur with ankle sprain or fracture. The incidence of syndesmotic injury has not been specifically studied at a population level. Data on syndesmotic injury were obtained from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a federal-state-private partnership. It is administered by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Two HCUP databases were queried for 8 states: the State Inpatient Database and the State Emergency Department Database. The first 6 International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition (ICD-9) code diagnoses were searched for codes that are used for syndesmotic injury (ie, 845.03). These data, along with data from the 2010 US census, were used to yield incidence rates for syndesmosis injury, as well as for various demographic groups. National estimates of injury totals were also calculated. In the 8 states, there were a total of 1821 syndesmotic injuries. Given the population of these states, the incidence rate of syndesmotic injury was 2.09 syndesmotic injuries per 100,000 person-years. This incidence correlates to an estimated 6445 syndesmotic injuries per year in the United States. These data provide some baseline numbers as to the incidence of syndesmotic injury in the United States. Although the incidence was low relative to some other injuries, the fact that syndesmotic injuries tend to occur in younger patients may have a greater effect in terms of productive years of life lost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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