Assessment of Ankle Joint Laxity After an Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain: An Exploration Clinical CASE Series

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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Joint integrity is compromised after an ankle sprain. However, little is known when comparing acute and subacute alterations after an ankle sprain to a preinjury baseline. The purpose of this study was to examine acute and subacute changes in joint laxity after a lateral ankle sprain. Eighty-nine NCAA Division I collegiate athletes that participated in basketball, soccer, and volleyball were recruited. Ankle joint laxity was measured with an instrumented ankle arthrometer during preseason for baseline measurements. Throughout the year, six individuals were diagnosed with a mild lateral ankle sprain. The injured ankles were re-measured at 24 hr, 3 days, 3 weeks, 5 weeks, and 6 months postinjury and compared to baseline measurements for changes in joint laxity. The greatest increases in laxity were seen 3 days, 3 weeks, and 5 weeks postinjury. The findings from this study support the current recommendations for diagnosing ankle sprains. Clinicians should access preinjury baseline measurements for comparison after injury to aid in rehabilitation progression throughout the recovery process after an injury.

Stubblefield, Tilly, and Liu are with the School of Health Sciences, University of Evansville, Evansville, IN.

Liu (kl154@evansville.edu) is corresponding author.
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