Validation of the Ottawa Ankle Rules in Indian Scenario


Department of Orthopedics, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India



Ankle injuries are one of the most common presentations in emergency department. Ottawa Ankle Rules (OARs) have been used to predict the requirement of radiographs.

This study aimed to validate the OARs protocol for predicting ankle and midfoot fractures in Indian population.

Patients and Methods
A prospective study was conducted in a teaching hospital in north India, during a period of nine months, including all patients who presented with complaints in the ankle region and evolution of less than 48 hours. The study excluded patients with multiple trauma and Glasgow coma scale of less than 15. All patients underwent clinical evaluation, followed by radiographs depending upon the location of the complaints. Radiographic study results were evaluated by orthopedic surgeons who had not seen the patient.

We evaluated 140 patients (84 males and 60 females) with the mean age of 35.2 (range, 8 - 76 years). Of the 140 evaluable patients, 71 had positive criteria for radiological evaluation of which 43 presented with fracture, 69 had negative criteria for radiography with no fracture. The sensitivity of OARs to detect fractures was 100%. The implementation of the OARs appears to have the potential to reduce the number of radiographs for the assessment of these patients by about 51%.

The implementations of OARs have the potential to reduce the number of X-ray graphics needed to assess these patients by about 51%. The results of this study demonstrate no false negatives and are in agreement with results from other similar studies. It encourages us to implement these criteria in our services urgently, with all the resulting socio-economic implications.