Ankle Strength Deficits in a Cohort of College Athletes With Chronic Ankle Instability

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Lateral ankle sprains commonly occur in an athletic population and can lead to chronic ankle instability. Objective: To compare ankle strength measurements in athletes who have mechanical laxity and report functional instability after a history of unilateral ankle sprains. Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Athletic Training Research Lab. Participants: A total of 165 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes, 97 males and 68 females, with history of unilateral ankle sprains participated. Main Outcome Measures: Functional ankle instability was determined by Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool scores and mechanical ankle instability by the participant having both anterior and inversion/eversion laxity. Peak torque strength measures, concentric and eccentric, in 2 velocities were measured. Results: Of the 165 participants, 24 subjects had both anterior and inversion/eversion laxity and 74 self-reported functional ankle instability on their injured ankle. The mechanical ankle instability group presented with significantly lower plantar flexion concentric strength at 30°/s (139.7 [43.7] N·m) (P = .01) and eversion concentric strength at 120°/s (14.8 [5.3] N·m) (P = .03) than the contralateral, uninjured ankle (166.3 [56.8] N·m, 17.4 [6.2] N·m, respectively). Conclusion: College athletes who present with mechanical laxity on a previously injured ankle exhibit plantar flexion and eversion strength deficits between ankles.

Wisthoff, Matheny, Gustavsen, Glutting, Swanik, and Kaminski are with the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA. Struminger is with Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, USA.

Wisthoff (bwisthof@udel.edu) is corresponding author.
Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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