The Effectiveness of Foot Orthotics in Improving Postural Control in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability: A Critically Appraised Topic

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Clinical Scenario:

Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is a condition commonly experienced by physically active individuals. It has been suggested that foot orthotics may increase a CAI patient’s postural control.

Clinical Question:

For patients with CAI, is there evidence to suggest that an orthotic intervention will help improve postural control?

Summary of Key Findings:

The literature was searched for studies of level 2 evidence or higher that investigated the effects of foot orthotics on postural control in patients with CAI. The search of the literature produced 5 possible studies for inclusion; 2 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included. One randomized controlled trial and 1 outcomes study were included. Foot orthotics appear to be effective at improving postural control in patients with CAI.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is moderate evidence to support the use of foot orthotics in the treatment of CAI to help improve postural control.

Strength of Recommendation:

There is grade B evidence that foot orthotics help improve postural control in people with CAI. The Centre of Evidence Based Medicine recommends a grade of B for level 2 evidence with consistent findings.

Gabriner is with the Steadman Clinic, Vail, CO. Braun is with Piedmont College, Demorest, GA. Houston is with the Arizona School of Health Science, A.T. Still University, Mesa, AZ. Hoch is with the School of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. Address author correspondence to Megan Houston at