Outcome and patients' satisfaction after functional treatment of acute lateral ankle injuries at emergency departments versus family doctor offices

Schwab, P; Benneker, LM; Eggli, S; Zimmermann, H; Exadaktylos, AK (2008). Outcome and patients' satisfaction after functional treatment of acute lateral ankle injuries at emergency departments versus family doctor offices. BMC family practice, 9, p. 69. London: BioMed Central 10.1186/1471-2296-9-69

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BACKGROUND: In some Western countries, more and more patients seek initial treatment even for minor injuries at emergency units of hospitals. The initial evaluation and treatment as well as aftercare of these patients require large amounts of personnel and logistical resources, which are limited and costly, especially if compared to treatment by a general practitioner. In this study, we investigated whether outsourcing from our level 1 trauma center to a general practitioner has an influence on patient satisfaction and compliance. METHODS: This prospective, randomized study, included n = 100 patients who suffered from a lateral ankle ligament injury grade I-II (16, 17). After radiological exclusion of osseous lesions, the patients received early functional treatment and were shown physical therapy exercises to be done at home, without immobilization or the use of stabilizing ortheses. The patients were randomly assigned into two groups of 50 patients each: Group A (ER): Follow-up and final examination in the hospital's emergency unit. Group B (GP): Follow-up by general practitioner, final examination at hospital's emergency unit. The patients were surveyed regarding their satisfaction with the treatment and outcome of the treatment. RESULTS: Female and male patients were equally represented in both groups. The age of the patients ranged from 16 - 64 years, with a mean age of 34 years (ER) and 35 years (GP). 98% (n = 98) of all patients were satisfied with their treatment, and 93% (n = 93) were satisfied with the outcome. For these parameters no significant difference between the two groups could be noted (p = 0.7406 and 0.7631 respectively). 39% of all patients acquired stabilizing ortheses like ankle braces (Aircast, Malleoloc etc.) on their own initiative. There was a not significant tendency for more self-acquired ortheses in the group treated by general practicioners (p = 0,2669). CONCLUSION: Patients who first present at the ER with a lateral ankle ligament injury grade I-II can be referred to a general practitioner for follow-up treatment without affecting patient satisfaction regarding treatment and treatment outcome.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Benneker, Lorin Michael and Eggli, Stefan






BioMed Central




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:03

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2014 20:09

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/27435 (FactScience: 107497)

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