Overweight people face almost double the risk of more proximal distal fibula fractures, which occur after rotational injuries and often lead to instability and syndesmotic disruption, according to research.
In the study, researchers at the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) conducted a retrospective review of the radiographs of 280 patients. They found that a body mass index (BMI) above 30 kg/m2 was associated with an increased odds ratio of 1.78 for Type C fibular fractures (under the Danis-Weber classification system those occurring above the syndesmosis) relative to Weber A and B fractures (below and at the level of the tibiofibular joint).
Male patients had a 1.74 odds ratio for Type C fractures compared to the other two types. The researchers also found that patients aged 25 or under had a higher odds ratio of 3.97 for Type C and B fractures compared to A fractures.
People with above normal weight face significantly higher risks of severe ankle injuries than non-obese people, said ACFAS associate member Alan MacGill.
Researchers also studied other risk factors such as tobacco use, diabetes and osteoporosis but found that they were not significantly linked to increased severity of ankle fractures.