Rehabilitation for Functional Ankle Instability

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Diane Madras
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J. Bradley Barr
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The article presents a focused review of the literature surrounding training methods for addressing the proprioceptive loss and subsequent balance problems that result from inversion ankle sprains.

Data Sources:

The authors searched the MEDLINE and CINAHL databases for the period 1985 through December 2001 using the key words ankle, ankle sprain, and rehabilitation.

Study Selection:

Any study investigating a rehabilitation or prevention program for the proprioceptive or balance aspects of ankle instability was included.

Data Synthesis:

Key components of the training regimen used in each study are described, and major findings are summarized.


Based on the literature reviewed, there is evidence to suggest that training programs for individuals with ankle instability that include ankle-disk or wobble-board activities help improve single-leg-stance balance and might decrease the likelihood of future sprains.

Madras is with the Physical Therapy Dept, College Misericordia, Dallas, PA 18612. Barr is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178.

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