This study will investigate whether a non-surgical treatment option will provide patients with comparable ankle function and quality of life to those treated with surgery.
Both treatments are used across the NHS currently and are not new or experimental.
In this study we use a process called randomisation, which means you cannot choose which treatment you have.
If you decide you would like to be involved in the study you will be asked to sign a consent form.
The only additional commitment we would ask of you would be to fill out a questionnaire at the start of treatment and on three occasions during your recovery.
As you have broken your ankle you are eligible to be a part of this study.
This study is expected to last 8 years. At the end of the study we will publish the findings in medical journals and at medical conferences.
About the study
The risks of the injury itself are the same for both groups of patients in the study, and are the same as for patients who are not taking part in the study.
There is a small risk of complications if you have the operation, such as infection and prominent metalwork, as with any surgery.
We expect that some patients will need to return for a further operation. The specific risks of surgery would not apply with the close contact cast.
The main potential risk of the cast treatment is that the bones move out of place, which may require further treatment, and that might be an operation.
It is also possible that while you are under anaesthetic, the surgeon decides he or she cannot hold your bones into the right position satisfactorily with the cast, and you would then receive an operation straight away.
Both treatments are used across the NHS so there is no specific advantage to you for taking part in the study. However, you will help us improve treatment for future patients with similar injuries. The study will also provide valuable information on the best use of resources within the NHS.
Why is the study happening?
Can I choose my treatment?