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Ankle Fractures and Weight Change

An estimated 134,000 ankle fractures occur annually, according to a study that used the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System to track ankle fractures in US hospital emergency departments between 2012 and 2016. Patients with ankle fractures were, 37 years old on average, and there was a slightly higher percentage of females (55%) than males (44%).


Your surgery made me fat!

Thompson et al. presented a report at the 2023 AAOS annual meeting that evaluated weight changes in patients during the postoperative period following ankle fracture surgery. In the first six months after surgery, there was no change in weight. By six months, however, patients who underwent ankle open reduction internal fixation gained an average of 10 pounds and 1.5 BMI points, and by one year, they gained an average of 20 pounds and three BMI points.


Early weight bearing

It is speculated that early weight bearing could help patients maintain an active lifestyle and reduce the potential for weight gain following ankle fracture surgery. A systematic review by Sharma et al., including 18 clinical trials, found that early weight bearing demonstrated significantly better short-term postoperative functional scores at six to nine weeks. The functional effect of early weight bearing, however, gradually became equivalent to that of late weight bearing by six months. The study did not investigate weight gain.

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