Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Inversion injuries of the ankle: clinical assessment and radiographic review.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 21 February 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:607
  1. S C Brooks,
  2. B T Potter,
  3. J B Rainey


    Inversion injuries of the ankle are a common cause of referral and presentation to accident units. They impose a load on radiographic services. A prospective trial was carried out to determine the accuracy of clinical examination. All patients were assessed clinically then examined radiographically, the clinical assessment missed 5% of the fractures. These, however, were all minor avulsion fractures or crush fractures and Tubigrip support was sufficient. Clinical examinations is, therefore, accurate and the need for most x-ray examination is questionable. X-ray examination should be reserved for patients with continuing pain or those who clinically have a fracture requiring immobilisation. This would produce a large saving in NHS resources.