As touched upon in the main Director’s Blog, Robert Brison and colleagues recently conducted a randomised controlled trial of physiotherapy for ankle sprain injury. The result is entirely null. The paper concentrates only on the ankle, not mentioning potential implications beyond this single joint. This broader picture is also ignored in the accompanying editorial. So solipsistic is the attention on the ankle that the broader question about the role of physiotherapy in sprains is not discussed. The interesting question now is to evaluate the role of physiotherapy across a wide range of joint injuries – this is an excellent opportunity for a multiple indication review. I am looking for collaborators who might want to take on such a task.
— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director
- Brison RJ, Day AG, Pelland L, et al. Effect of early supervised physiotherapy on recovery from acute ankle sprain: randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 2016; 355: i5650.
- Bleakley C. Supervised physiotherapy for mild or moderate ankle sprain. BMJ. 2016; 355: i5984.
- Chen Y-F, Hemming K, Chilton PJ, Gupta KK, Altman DG, Lilford RJ. Scientific hypotheses can be tested by comparing the effects of one treatment over many diseases in a systematic review. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014; 67: 1309-19.