Rest Easy: Is Bed Rest Really Necessary After Surgical Repair of an Ankle Fracture?

2014-07-24 14:17:29 | BioPortfolio


After a patient has fractured an ankle that then requires surgery, the recommendation is to remain in bed, with the operated leg elevated on pillows for 48 hours. This is a precautionary measure, as yet unsubstantiated by research, which is thought to minimize ankle swelling that can inhibit the healing of the surgical wound. However, prolonged bed rest can lead to other complications such as blood clots in the lungs or leg veins, or chest infections such as pneumonia. Prolonged bed rest is also known to cause weakness and a loss of fitness such that recovery may be slower. In this research the investigators will be randomly allocating patients to mobilize within 24 hours post operatively or to rest in bed for 48 hours with their leg well elevated. The investigators will measure length of stay and wound healing and integrity at 14 days. This study aims to investigate whether getting patients out of bed within 24 hours of surgery can accelerate recovery and reduce acute hospital length of stay without affecting wound healing. If bed rest for 2 days is not necessary, there will be benefits for the patient in terms of general health and ability, and for the hospital in terms of cost savings through shorter lengths of stay and patient through put. The investigators already know that early mobilization is beneficial following other types of orthopedic surgery such as hip fractures. This study aims to investigate if early mobilization following surgical management of ankle fractures is safe with specific regard to wound integrity and wound outcomes. This study will also investigate the effect of earlier mobilization on the length of time spent in the acute hospital and for those discharged directly home, the amount and type of support required. If early mobilization is found to be safe for wound healing and results in shorter in-hospital stays, this research will provide the confidence to endorse a change to current clinical practice.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Caregiver), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Ankle Injuries


Early mobilization, Standard mobilization


The Alfred




The Alfred

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:17:29-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The release of stem cells from the bone marrow into the peripheral blood circulation for the purpose of leukapheresis, prior to stem cell transplantation. Hematopoietic growth factors or chemotherapeutic agents often are used to stimulate the mobilization.

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Harm or hurt to the ankle or ankle joint usually inflicted by an external source.

Mobilization of human, financial, capital, physical and or natural resources to generate goods and services.

The mobilization of EMERGENCY CARE to the locations and people that need them.

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