Diagnostic accuracy of the Ottawa Ankle and Midfoot Rules: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Paula R. Beckenkamp*, Chung Wei Christine Lin, Petra Macaskill, Zoe A. Michaleff, Chris G. Maher, Anne M. Moseley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)



To review the diagnostic accuracy of the Ottawa Ankle and Midfoot Rules and explore if clinical features and/or methodological quality of the study influence diagnostic accuracy estimates. 


Systematic review with meta-analysis. 

Data sources 

MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and Cochrane Library. 

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies 

Primary diagnostic studies reporting the accuracy of the Rules in people with ankle and/or midfoot injury were retrieved. Diagnostic accuracy estimates, overall and for subgroups (patient's age, profession of the assessor and setting of application), were made. Sensitivity analyses included studies with a low risk of bias and studies where all patients received radiographs. 


66 studies were included. Ankle and Midfoot Rules presented similar accuracies, which were homogeneous and high for sensitivity and negative likelihood ratios and poor and heterogeneous for specificity and positive likelihood ratios (mean, 95% CI pooled sensitivity of Ankle Rules: 99.4%, 97.9% to 99.8%; specificity: 35.3%, 28.8% to 42.3%). Sensitivity of the Ankle Rules was higher in adults than in children, but the profession of the assessor did not appear to influence accuracy. Specificity was higher for Midfoot than for Ankle Rules. There were not enough studies to allow comparison according to setting of application. Studies with a low risk of bias and where all patients received radiographs provided lower accuracy estimates. Specificity heterogeneity was not explained by assessor training, use of imaging in all patients and low risk of bias. 


Study features and the methodological quality influence estimates of the diagnostic accuracy of the Ottawa Ankle and Midfoot Rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic accuracy of the Ottawa Ankle and Midfoot Rules: A systematic review with meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this