Objective—To compare functional outcome in patients with acute grade 1 or 2 (mild to moderate) lateral ankle sprains randomised to treatment with or without a double tubigrip bandage (DTG).
Methods—400 patients presenting to the accident and emergency (A&E) departments of a teaching hospital and a district general hospital and diagnosed with grade 1 or 2 lateral ankle sprains were randomised to treatment with or without a DTG bandage. A standardised telephone questionnaire was performed one week after presentation. The main outcome measures were: number of days until walking unaided, number of days off work, whether the injury kept the patient awake at night, whether analgesia was taken.
Results—197 of 400 patients completed follow up. There were no significant differences in terms of age, sex and occupation between the treatment groups. There were no significant differences between those who did and those who did not complete follow up. There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for number of days until walking unaided (95% CI −0.21 to 0.88 days), number of days off work (95% CI −0.70 to 1.02 days) or whether the injury kept the patient awake at night (95% CI −10 to 17%). There was a significant difference between the groups in the use of analgesia (95% CI 10 to 36%); the difference seemed to be that patients treated with DTG required significantly more analgesia.
Conclusions—Treatment of grade 1 and 2 ankle sprins with DTG does not seem to lead to a shorter time to functional recovery and may increase the requirement for analgesia.
- ankle sprain
- compression bandage
- double Tubigrip
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Conflicts of interest: none.