One hundred patients who presented to the accident and emergency (A&E) department with an acute ankle sprain were entered into a study to determine the efficacy of topical ibuprofen cream by using a double-blind placebo controlled design in a single type of soft-tissue injury. The subjects were given either topical ibuprofen cream or a placebo cream in addition to the standard management of the department. Patients kept diaries recording walking ability and pain visual analogue scales for resting, standing and walking. A total of 51 patients returned diaries that were suitable for analysis. Patients using the topical ibuprofen cream had significant reduction in pain scores over the first 48 h of treatment.
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