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Michael L. Gabriner, Brittany A. Braun, Megan N. Houston and Matthew C. Hoch

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.