Objective-To compare functional outcome in patients with acute grade 1 or 2
(mild to moderate) lateral ankle sprains randomised to treatment with or w
ithout a double tubigrip bandage (DTG).
Methods-400 patients presenting to the accident and emergency (A&E) departm
ents of a teaching hospital and a district general hospital and diagnosed w
ith grade 1 or 2 lateral ankle sprains were randomised to treatment with or
without a DTG bandage. A standardised telephone questionnaire was performe
d one week after presentation. The main outcome measures were: number of da
ys until walking unaided, number of days off work, whether the injury kept
the patient awake at night, whether analgesia was taken.
Results-197 of 400 patients completed follow up. There were no significant
differences in terms of age, sex and occupation between the treatment group
s. There were no significant differences between those who did and those wh
o did not complete follow up. There was no significant difference between t
he treatment groups for number of days until walking unaided (95% CI -0.21
to 0.88 days), number of days off work (95% CI -0.70 to 1.02 days) or wheth
er the injury kept the patient awake at night (95% CI -10 to 17%). There wa
s a significant difference between the groups in the use of analgesia (95%
CI 10 to 36%); the difference seemed to be that patients treated with DTG r
equired significantly more analgesia.
Conclusions-Treatment of grade 1 and 2 ankle sprins with DTG does not seem
to lead to a shorter time to functional recovery and may increase the requi
rement for analgesia.