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Residual Impairments and Activity Limitations at Return to Play from a Lateral Ankle Sprain

Ryan McCann, Kyle Kosik, Masafumi Terada, and Phillip Gribble

Considering the high recurrent injury rates, athletes may receive clearance for return to play (RTP) from a lateral ankle sprain (LAS) before impairments and activity limitations are resolved. The purpose of this study was to examine residual structural and functional impairments and activity limitations at RTP in athletes with a LAS. We found that athletes demonstrated increased ankle ligamentous laxity and reduced self-reported function, dorsiflexion range of motion, and dynamic postural control at RTP. Athletes with a LAS likely require more extensive care to resolve impairments and activity limitation before RTP.