The effect of a heel-unloading orthosis in short-term treatment of calcaneus fractures on physical function, quality of life and return to work - Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Hagen Schmal*, Anders Holsgaard Larsen, Lonnie Froberg, Julie Ladeby Erichsen, Carsten Fladmose Madsen, Lasse Pedersen

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Background: There are no standardized therapy guidelines for rehabilitation of calcaneus fractures. While there is consensus on non or partial weight-bearing, the use of supporting devices such as specific foot ankle orthosis is still a matter of debate. Recently, a heel-unloading orthosis ("Settner shoe") was introduced for aftercare of these fractures, allowing walking by shifting the load to the middle-foot and forefoot. This orthosis enables early mobilization of patients suffering from either one-sided or two-sided fractures. The Settner shoe can be applied in non-operative therapy and after surgery. Specifically in calcaneus fractures, early regain of physical activity has been highlighted as one of the key factors for quality of life and the ability to return to work. Thus, we hypothesize that mobilization with the Settner shoe results in improved quality of life and greater physical activity within the first 3 months. Methods: This is going to be analyzed by a randomized controlled study comparing treatment with and without this specific orthosis. The secondary outcome measure is the time point of return to work in patients aged between 18 and 60 years, with calcaneus fracture. Furthermore, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot score, a 3-dimensional gait analysis, and the Euroqol-5 dimension-3 level (EQ-5D-3 L) questionnaire for quality of life are assessed. Discussion: This is the first trial applying a standardized rehabilitation protocol in patients with calcaneus fractures, aiming to improve the non-operative part of treatment by use of an orthosis. Trial registration:, NCT03572816. Registered on 27 July 2018.

Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 4. jun. 2019