The parachutist injured in a dramatic accident often describes the injury in an incomplete and biased way and evaluation of materials based solely upon subjective information of this kind can be misleading and of no value for recommendations. As the relation between the mechanical factors of the injury and the lesion in ankle fractures is well documented, an investigation of clinical, radiological and operative findings in 46 parachutists with ankle fractures was conducted. Classification was possible in 44 of 46 fractures. The description of the cause of the trauma in 21 supination-eversion fractures and in 13 pronation-eversion fractures was most frequently faulty landing position or obstacles. The cause of seven supination fractures was oscillation of the parachutist whilst descending with sudden impact against the lateral aspect of the foot. For prophylaxis we recommend improvement of landing and steering techniques and the support of semi-calf boots.
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