Original Research| Volume 51, ISSUE 5, P543-547, September 2012

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Association Between Ankle Fractures and Obesity


      Obesity is an epidemic in the United States and is associated with an increased risk of musculoskeletal problems. Rotational injuries of the ankle with a Weber C fibula fracture have a greater risk of syndesmosis disruption and instability. The goal of the present study was to explore the association between obesity and ankle fractures. Using a retrospective review, the radiographs of 280 patients with an ankle fracture were reviewed and classified using the Weber classification, which was then associated with the body mass index, gender, age, diabetes, tobacco use, and osteoporosis. Patients with a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (odds ratio 1.78), men (odds ratio 1.74), and age 25 years or younger (odds ratio 3.97) had greater odds of having a Weber C ankle fracture (compared with Weber A and B) and Weber C and B (compared with Weber A). Diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis/osteopenia, and current tobacco use were not significantly associated with the severity of the ankle fracture. The results from the present study suggest that obesity presents a greater risk of sustaining a more proximal distal fibula fracture.

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