Does ankle aspiration for acute ankle fractures result in pain relief? A prospective randomized double-blinded placebo controlled trial

Timothy J. Ewald, Pamela Holte, Joseph R. Cass, William W. Cross, S. Andrew Sems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Does ankle aspiration help with pain control in patients with ankle fractures? Design: Prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Setting: Level 1 Academic Medical Center. Patients/Participants: Consecutive skeletally mature patients with ankle fractures. Intervention: Randomized between ankle aspiration and sham procedure. Main Outcome Measurements: Pain scores for 72 hours after injury and pain medicine usage. Results: Comparison between study subjects receiving ankle aspiration and sham procedure showed no significant differences in pain scores acutely in the emergency department or within 3 days after injury. There were also no statistically significant differences in pain medicine usage within 3 days after injury. Secondary outcomes, including lower leg volume, 6-month functional outcome scores, and complication rate, also showed no significant differences between subjects receiving aspiration and the sham procedure. Conclusions: Aspiration of acute ankle fractures does not result in decreased pain scores or opioid usage after aspiration. Aspiration of acute ankle fractures does not provide measurable clinical benefit. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of orthopaedic trauma
Volume29
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2015

Keywords

  • ankle fracture
  • aspiration
  • hemarthrosis
  • pain
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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