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Single or Double Tubigrip™ after acute ankle inversion injury?

Three Part Question

in[adults with an acute inversion ankle sprain] is [DTG better than STG] at [reducing pain & swelling and improving weight bearing]

Clinical Scenario

A 29 year old male presents to AED with an acute ankle inversion injury sustained 3 hours previously. His ankle is swollen and he is capable though reluctant to take full weight. X-Rays reveal no bony injury. You want to encourage him to weight bear and decrease his pain and swelling so you decide to apply double Tubigrip™ bandage (DTG). But as supplies are getting very low, you wonder if there is just as much benefit from using single Tubigrip™ (STG) and decide to investigate further.

Search Strategy

MEDLINE 1966-03/07, CINAHL 1982 –03/07, AMED 1985-03/07, SPORTDiscus 1830-03/07, EMBASE 1996-03/07, via the OVID interface. The Cochrane database March 2007 and PEDro database March 2007.
Medline, CINAHL, AMED, EMBASE, SPORTSDiscus: [{(exp bandages OR exp compression bandages OR exp support materials OR exp ankle support OR AND (ankle OR exp ankle injuries OR exp ankle joint OR exp sprains and sprains OR inversion})] LIMIT to human AND English language.
CINAHL: [{exp bandages and dressings}]
SPORTSDiscus: [{exp ankle OR exp sprain OR exp injury}]

Search Outcome

515 articles were retrieved but there were none relevant to the 3 part question. There is 1 PRCT comparing DTG to no tubigrip that has already been included in a previous BET (Ahmad 2004)


Several online letters followed the PRCT (cited in Ahmad's 2004 BET) stating that many clinicians continue to use DTG to encourage patients' full weight bearing and quicker mobilisation post ankle sprain, despite the lack of clear evidence for or against its use.

Clinical Bottom Line

At present there is no published evidence that DTG and STG have any advantage over each other after an acute ankle sprain.