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Elderly patients with unstable ankle fractures could avoid surgery, according to research by a UK team led by Oxford University.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared surgery to pin a broken ankle with a new plaster cast technique known as 'close contact casting'.

Researcher Professor Keith Willett, of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford, and the Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Older adults – those over 60 – are suffering an increasing number of ankle fractures from leading more active lifestyles and the rising prevalence of osteoporosis. However, we know that older patients have disproportionately poor outcomes, and their quality of life can suffer as they lose mobility.'

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