Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in the Emergency department for Patients With Acute Ankle Injuries

Study Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of osteopathic
manipulative treatment (OMT) as administered in the emergency department (ED) for the treatment of patients with acute ankle injuries.

Methods: Patients aged 18 years and older with unilateral ankle sprains were randomly assigned either to an OMT study group or a control group. Independent outcome variables included edema, range of motion (ROM), and pain. Both groups received the current standard of care for ankle sprains and were instructed to return for a followup examination. Patients in the OMT study group also received one session of OMT from an osteopathic physician.

Results: Patients in the OMT study group had a statistically significant (F = 5.92, P = .02) improvement in edema and pain and a trend toward increased ROM immediately following intervention with OMT. Although at follow-up both study groups demonstrated significant improvement, patients in the OMT study group had a statistically significant improvement in ROM when compared with patients in the control group.

Conclusions: Data clearly demonstrate that a single session of OMT in the ED can have a significant effect in the management of acute ankle injuries.


Anita W. Eisenhart, DO
Theodore J. Gaeta, DO, MPH
David P. Yens, PhD

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