I coulda had a cast!

BBC NEWS | Health | Plaster cast better for sprains

The findings, published in The Lancet, are at odds with general medical opinion that the best thing for a sprained ankle is to keep it moving.

Up to 1.5m people a year in the UK go to A&E with a sprained ankle.

The injury accounts for 3-5% of all UK emergency department attendances and varies from minor stretching of the ligament to a complete tear.

It is commonly treated with ice, elevation, tubular compression bandage and advice to exercise.

But the researchers found that a tubular bandage was consistently the worst treatment.

In patients with severe ankle sprain attending eight emergency departments in the UK, a 10-day below-knee cast was associated with a speedier recovery in terms of ankle function, pain, symptoms and activity three months later.

The second best treatment was an Aircast brace which limits movement of the ankle.

A plaster cast costs £16.46, the researchers said, compared with £39.23 for an Aircast brace, £215 for the Bledsoe and £1.44 for a tubular compression bandage, the researchers said.

This is the kind of effectiveness research that should be done more often, and that the usual suspects tried to get killed in the US.


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