Fifty-one patients with dislocated lateral malleolar fractures took part in this prospective randomized study. Active ankle movements with weight bearing in an orthosis were compared with active ankle movements without weight bearing using a dorsal splint. By using cerclage, staples, and pins (Cedell 1967), an exact reconstruction of the ankle mortise was achieved in 44/51 ankles. Radiographic and stereophotogrammetric analyses at 3 months showed no redislocation and only small movements in the ankle mortise. Better loaded dorsal flexion capacity at 3 months was found in the orthosis group. This study was designed as the second part of a consecutive study. In the first part, early or late weight bearing without ankle exercises was compared (Ahl et al. 1986). The results from the two consecutive parts indicate that active ankle movements in combination with weight bearing facilitate and improve the rehabilitation following operation for an ankle fracture.
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