A prospective cost analysis following operative treatment of unstable ankle fractures30 patients followed for 1 year
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BACKGROUND: Ankle fractures remain one of the commonest injuries requiring operation. Quality of life and the overall costs associated with the treatment of such injuries are rarely reported. We did a pilot study to determine the cost of treating patients operatively with unstable ankle fractures and to measure the patients' quality of life (utility scores) over time. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 30 patients (17 men) were eligible and included in the study. They were on the average 52 (18-81) years old. All patients had type B Weber fractures (OTA 44B). RESULTS: The mean utility score from the Health Utilities Index immediately after surgery was 0.4. At 12 months follow-up, this score had increased to 0.78. The cost was, on average, USD 2,143 per patient. INTERPRETATION: Our findings indicate that patients operated on for ankle fractures had significant gains in health at an acceptable cost. These results provide data for studies of larger sample size.
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