Does ankle aspiration help with pain control in patients with ankle fractures?
Prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.
Level 1 Academic Medical Center.
Consecutive skeletally mature patients with ankle fractures.
Randomized between ankle aspiration and sham procedure.
Main Outcome Measurements:
Pain scores for 72 hours after injury and pain medicine usage.
Comparison between study subjects receiving ankle aspiration and sham procedure showed no significant differences in pain scores acutely in the emergency department or within 3 days after injury. There were also no statistically significant differences in pain medicine usage within 3 days after injury. Secondary outcomes, including lower leg volume, 6-month functional outcome scores, and complication rate, also showed no significant differences between subjects receiving aspiration and the sham procedure.
Aspiration of acute ankle fractures does not result in decreased pain scores or opioid usage after aspiration. Aspiration of acute ankle fractures does not provide measurable clinical benefit.
Level of Evidence:
Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.