Gait Analysis Related to Functional Outcome in Patients Operated for Ankle Fractures

Sander van Hoeve*, Michael Houben, Jan P. A. M. Verbruggen, Paul Willems, Kenneth Meijer, Martijn Poeze

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Ankle fractures are among the most common lower limb fractures. Associations between postoperative radiographic results and clinical outcome have been found, but less is known about the relevant ankle biomechanics. This study analyzed ankle kinematics, radiographic findings, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) in patients treated for ankle fractures. The hypothesis was that patients after ankle fracture surgery had less flexion/extension in the ankle compared to healthy subjects and that fracture severity had significant influence on kinematics and patient satisfaction. Thirty-three patients (n = 33 feet) operated for ankle fractures were recruited. Ankle kinematics were analyzed using the Oxford Foot model, and results were compared with an age-matched healthy control group (11 patients, 20 feet). In addition, patients were divided by fracture (severity) classification and kinematic results were correlated with PROM and radiographic findings. Patients treated for ankle fracture showed lower walking speed (p <0.001) when asked to walk in preferred normal speed. When compared at equal speed, significantly less range of motion (ROM) between the hindfoot and tibia in the sagittal plane (flexion/extension) during loading and push-off phases (p = 0.003 and p <0.001) was found in patients after ankle fractures compared to healthy subjects. Lowest ROM and poorest PROM results were found for patients with trimalleolar ankle fractures. There was a significant correlation between ROM (flexion/extension) during the push-off phase and SF-36 physical functioning (r(2) = 0.403, p = 0.027) and SF-36 general health (r(2) = 0.473, p = 0.008). Fracture severity was significantly correlated with flexion/extension ROM in the ankle during both loading and push-off phases (r(2) = -0.382, p = 0.005, and r(2) = -0.568, p <0.001) and was also significantly correlated with PROM. This study found that patients with ankle fractures had significantly altered ankle kinematics compared to healthy subjects. The poorest results were found among patients with trimalleolar fractures. Weak to strong significant correlations were found between fracture severity, ankle kinematics, and PROM. (c) 2019 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research (R) Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Orthopaedic Research Society. J Orthop Res 37:1658-1666, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1658-1666
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • HIP
  • SF-36


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