Impact of compression stockings on wound healing and complications in ankle fractures: A retrospective cohort study

Charlotte Abrahamsen*, Jesper Stork-Hansen, Rajzan Joanroy, Kristine Bollerup Arndt, Anders Jordy, Bjarke Viberg

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction: Ankle fractures treated with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) have a high incidence of wound complications. By reducing oedema, wound complications can, in theory, be minimized. This study investigates the impact of compression stocking (CS) on such complications after treatment with ORIF. Methods: Compression stockings were introduced as a standard postoperative treatment for all ankle fracture patients treated operatively with ORIF on February 1, 2013. Data were retrieved from medical records two years prior to and following the introduction date. The primary outcome was wound healing status after six weeks and secondary outcomes were wound-healing and major complications up to one year after surgery. Results: In total, 187 patients were studied, 74 in the CS group and 113 in the control (non-CS) group. Six weeks after the operation, wound-healing problems occurred in 23% and 13% of the patients in the CS group and the non-CS group (p < 0.0001) respectively. In total, 34% and 19% of the patients in the CS group and non-CS group experienced wound-healing complications one year after the operation (p < 0.02) respectively. Furthermore, major complications within one year occurred in 3% and 4% of patients respectively (p < 0.77). Conclusion: An increase in wound-healing complications after six weeks and one year when using CS was found. However, owing to baseline differences in the two groups, it is only possible to caution against the use of CS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100866
JournalInternational Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

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  • Ankle fracture
  • Compression stocking
  • Wound complication
  • Wound healing


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