This Week In The Bmj

Ottawa ankle rules effectively exclude fractures

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 22 February 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:0

The Ottawa ankle rules, a decision aid for ruling out fractures in patients with acute ankle sprain, are effective. In a systematic review of 32 studies that used the instrument, Bachmann and colleagues (p 417) found that it accurately excluded fractures of the ankle or mid-foot in most patients. The aid has almost 100% sensitivity (no false negatives) and modest specificity (some false positives). As discussed in an editorial by Heyworth (p 405), the Ottawa ankle rules were developed to limit unnecessary use of radiography, and have been validated and modified in a range of clinical settings.

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