The Effectiveness of Prophylactic Ankle Braces in Reducing the Incidence of Acute Ankle Injuries in Adolescent Athletes: A Critically Appraised Topic

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Clinical Scenario:

Ankle injuries constitute a large number of injuries sustained by adolescent athletes participating in high school athletics. Prophylactic ankle bracing may be an effective and efficient method to reduce the incidence of ankle injuries in adolescent athletes in the secondary-school setting.

Clinical Question:

Do prophylactic ankle braces reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries in adolescent athletes?

Summary of Key Findings:

Two of the three included studies reported that prophylactic ankle braces reduced the incidence of ankle injuries compared with no ankle bracing.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is moderate evidence to support the use of prophylactic ankle braces in adolescent athletes, particularly those who participate in football and basketball, to reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries.

Strength of Recommendation:

Grade B evidence exists that prophylactic ankle braces reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries in adolescent athletes.

Farwell, Powden, and Powell are with the Dept of Human Movement Science, and Hoch, the School of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. McCarty is with the Arizona School of Health Sciences, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ.