We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Implementation of the Ottawa Ankle Rules

Ian G. Stiell, MD, MSc, FRCPC; R. Douglas McKnight, MD, FRCPC; Gary H. Greenberg, MD, FRCPC; Ian McDowell, PhD; Rama C. Nair, MStat, PhD; George A. Wells, PhD; Christine Johns, MD; James R. Worthington, MD, FRCPC
JAMA. 1994;271(11):827-832. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510350037034.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Objective.  —To assess the impact on clinical practice of implementing the Ottawa ankle rules.

Design.  —Nonrandomized, controlled trial with before-after and concurrent controls.

Setting.  —Emergency departments of a university (intervention) hospital and a community (control) hospital.

Patients.  —All 2342 adults seen with acute ankle injuries during 5-month periods before and after the intervention.

Intervention.  —The implementation of the Ottawa ankle rules by emergency department physicians.

Main Outcome Measure.  —Proportions of patients referred for standard ankle and foot radiographic series.

Results.  —There was a relative reduction in ankle radiography by 28% at the intervention hospital but an increase by 2% at the control hospital (P<.001). Foot radiography was reduced by 14% at the intervention hospital but increased by 13% at the control hospital (P<.05). Compared with nonfracture patients who had radiography during the after period at the intervention hospital, those discharged without radiography spent less time in the emergency department (80 minutes vs 116 minutes; P<.0001), had lower estimated total medical costs for physician visits and radiography ($62 vs $173; P<.001), but did not differ in the proportion satisfied with emergency physician care (95% vs 96%) or undergoing subsequent radiography (5% vs 5%). The rules were found to have sensitivities of 1.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95 to 1.0) for detecting 74 malleolar fractures and 1.0 (95% CI, 0.82 to 1.0) for detecting 19 midfoot fractures. In the following 12 months at the intervention hospital, use of radiography did not increase.

Conclusions.  —Implementation of the Ottawa ankle rules led to a decrease in use of ankle radiography, waiting times, and costs without patient dissatisfaction or missed fractures. Future studies should address the generalizability of these decision rules in a variety of hospital settings.(JAMA. 1994;271:827-832)


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.