A retrospective clinical audit of acute ankle sprains within the Gold Coast Hospital Health Service Emergency Departments

James Furness, Jenna Clements, Madeline Simpson, Kevin Kemp-Smith, Deborah Lenaghan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Ankle and foot related injuries are the most prevalent musculoskeletal injury within the Australian ED setting. The purpose of this study was to outline and benchmark the current management of acute ankle injury within the ED settings in the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.
Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional design was used. The study was approved as a Quality Audit (LNR/2018/QGC/46335). A total of 400 charts with the diagnosis of ankle sprain/ strain were reviewed and relevant data was extracted and analysed.
Results: A total of 241 (60.3%) were female and the median age of the entire cohort was 24.0 (IQR of 15 – 41). Mechanism of Injury was recorded in 99.3% of the charts; injury history in 24.8% of charts and application of Ottawa Ankle Rules in 89% of charts. A minimum standard clinical diagnostic assessment involved the combination of all these variables above and was recorded in 30% of the charts. A total 98% of charts reported an Xray. At least one form of treatment was recorded in 99% of charts with load education only being reported in 15.5% of charts. Variation across Physiotherapists, Nurse Practitioners and Doctors was greatest for load education (55.1%, 2.9% and 4.5% respectively) and referral for follow up (64%, 13.2% and 24.7% respectively).
Discussion: Discrepancies in management across practitioners and when benchmarked against clinical guidelines is evident. Specifically, injury history and load education need to be included in ankle management as these factors may lead to mechanical and sensorimotor impairments and contribute to ongoing ankle pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
EventThe Gold Coast Health and partners Research Showcase 2021 - Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 29 Nov 202130 Nov 2021


SeminarThe Gold Coast Health and partners Research Showcase 2021
CityGold Coast
OtherThe event provides a platform for health and medical research on the Gold Coast and aims to showcase the outcomes of research, highlight its role in effecting positive change, and to grow and support Gold Coast Health’s emerging research presence.

The event will provide learning opportunities from experienced researchers, panel discussions and keynote speakers and will include the announcement of the 2021 Collaborative Research Grant Scheme recipients.
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