1 Department of Surgery / College of Medicine/ Kirkuk University

2 Department of Orthopaedic/ Airedale NHS Foundation Hospital/ UK


Background: It is difficult to establish the effect cast immobilisation has upon a patient and whether or not it causes a significant detriment to the proprioceptive mechanisms within the body. An observational pilot study on random group of patients collected from the fracture clinic. Patients and methods: Twenty two male and sixteen female fracture clinic patients from Airedale general hospital were included within this study, with ages spanning from six to eighty years old. A comparison between patients drinking alcohol and patients not drinking, were made. Also the effect of age was analyzed. A subjective analysis using a questionnaire and an objective examination on modalities of light touch, vibration and position sense, to investigate any variation in proprioceptive awareness. Results: Highlighted a correlation between time in cast and sensorimotor deficit especially in patients above the age of 50 years. An increased time lead to an increased deficit with an eleven week duration following Achilles tendon rupture being the most significant. The results also indicated the profound negative effect of alcohol consumption on the proprioception of the patient, regardless of quantity. Conclusion: Individuals who are known to consume alcohol are suggested to receive assistance with their proprioceptive function by means of physiotherapy and limb movement re-training prior to driving. Individuals who have Achilles rupture should be subjected to clinical review three months post-cast-removal prior to returning to drive.