Lateral ankle sprains (LAS) are among the most common joint injuries, and although most are resolved with conservative treatment, others develop chronic ankle instability (AI). Considerable attention has been directed toward understanding the underlying causes of this pathology; however, little is known concerning the neuromuscular mechanisms behind AI. A biomechanical analysis of the landing phase of a drop jump onto a device that simulates the mechanism of a LAS may give insight into the dynamic restraint mechanisms of the ankle by individuals with AI. Furthermore, work evaluating subjects who have a history of at least one lateral ankle sprain, yet did not develop AI, may help elucidate compensatory mechanisms following a LAS event. Identifying proper neuromuscular control strategies is crucial in reducing the incidence of AI.
Gutierrez is with the Arthur J. Nelson Jr. Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, New York University, New York, NY. Kaminski is with the Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Health, Nutrition & Exercise Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.