Study Design Cross-sectional observational study.
Objectives To determine the prevalence and impact of chronic musculoskeletal ankle disorders in the Sri Lankan community.
Background Musculoskeletal disorders of the lower extremities are commonly affected by chronicity and disabilities, with the ankle being one of the commonest areas. Epidemiological information on chronic musculoskeletal ankle disorders in the general community is scarce in Sri Lanka.
Methods and Measures Cross-sectional stratified random sample of the general community. Data collection was carried out using an interviewer-based questionnaire of people (n=1000) aged 12–85 years (mean:39.5±15.5 years) in Sri Lanka. Of those questionnaires, 827 participants provided data (53.4% females, 46.6% males). Point prevalence for no history of ankle injury or ankle problems, history of ankle injuries without chronic ankle problems, and chronic ankle disorders were obtained. Point prevalence of musculo skeletal disorders and causes for chronicity were evaluated.
Results There were 448 (54.2%) participants with no ankle problems, 164 (19.8%) with a history of ankle injury but no chronic problems, and 215 (26.0%) with chronic ankle disorders. The major component of chronic ankle disorders was musculoskeletal disorders (n=113, 13.7% of the total sample), most of which were due to ankle injury (n=80, 9.7% of the total). Sprains were responsible for 17.7% of the total ankle injuries. Arthritis was the other main cause for chronicity of ankle problems with 4% of participants (n=33).
Conclusions Chronic musculoskeletal ankle problems affected approximately 1 in 7 people, with a rate of 14% of the Sri Lankan community. The majority were due to a previous ankle injury, and arthritis. Most people had to limit or change their physical activity and proper health care consultation is recommended. A similar picture emerges overall between developing and developed countries, with only the activities affected and types of health care practitioner consulted, varying.
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