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Katherine L. Helly, Katherine A. Bain, Phillip A. Gribble, and Matthew C. Hoch

Clinical Scenario: Patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) demonstrate deficits in both sensory and motor function, which can be objectively evaluated through static postural control testing. One intervention that has been suggested to improve somatosensation and, in turn, static postural control is plantar massage. Clinical Question: Does plantar massage improve static postural control during single-limb stance in patients with CAI relative to baseline? Summary of Key Findings: A search was performed for articles exploring the effect of plantar massage on static postural control in individuals with CAI. Three articles were included in this critically appraised topic including 1 randomized controlled trial and 2 crossover studies. All studies supported the use of plantar massage to improve static postural control in patients with CAI. Clinical Bottom Line: There is currently good-quality and consistent evidence that supports the use of plantar massage as an intervention that targets the somatosensory system to improve static postural control in patients with CAI. Future research should focus on incorporating plantar massage as a treatment intervention during long-term rehabilitation protocols for individuals with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: In agreement with the Center of Evidence-Based Medicine, the consistent results from 2 crossover studies and 1 randomized controlled trial designate that there is level B evidence due to consistent, moderate- to high-quality evidence.

Open access

Bridget M. Walsh, Katherine A. Bain, Phillip A. Gribble, and Matthew C. Hoch

Clinical Scenario: Patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) commonly display lower levels of self-reported function and health-related quality of life. Several rehabilitation interventions, including manual therapy, have been investigated to help CAI patients overcome these deficits. However, it is unclear if the addition of manual therapy to exercise-based rehabilitation is more effective than exercise-based rehabilitation alone. Clinical Question: Does incorporating manual therapy with exercise-based rehabilitation improve patient-reported outcomes when compared with exercise-based rehabilitation alone? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles that examined the difference in outcomes for patients with CAI between manual therapy with exercise-based rehabilitation and exercise-based rehabilitation alone. A total of 3 peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials were identified. Two articles demonstrated improved patient-reported outcome scores following the incorporation of manual therapy with exercise-based rehabilitation, whereas one study found no statistically significant differences between interventions. Clinical Bottom Line: The current evidence suggests that incorporating manual therapy in addition to exercised-based rehabilitation may improve patient-reported outcome scores in patients with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: In accordance with the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy, the grade of A is recommended due to consistent evidence from high-quality studies.

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Katherine L. Helly, Katherine A. Bain, Matthew C. Hoch, Nicholas R. Heebner, Phillip A. Gribble, Masafumi Terada, and Kyle B. Kosik

Context: Static postural control deficits are commonly documented among individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). Evidence suggests individuals with CAI who seek medical attention after an ankle sprain report fewer subjective symptoms. It is unknown if seeking medical attention and receiving supervised physical rehabilitation has a similar effect on objective outcomes, such as static postural control. Objective: To compare measures of single-limb postural control and center of pressure (COP) location between participants with CAI who did or did not self-report attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of their first lateral ankle sprain. Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): Twenty-nine participants with CAI who did (n = 14) or did not (n = 15) self-report attending supervised rehabilitation. Intervention(s): Self-reported attendance or not of supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury. Main Outcome Measures: Participants performed three 20-second trials of single-limb stance on a force plate with eyes open. Main outcome measures included the COP velocities, time-to-boundary (TTB) absolute minima, mean of TTB minima, and SD of TTB minima in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions. The spatial distribution of the COP data points under the foot was quantified within 4 equally proportional sections labeled anteromedial, anterolateral, posteromedial, and posterolateral. Results: Participants who reported attending supervised rehabilitation after their initial ankle sprain had a lower COP velocity in the anterior–posterior direction (P = .030), and higher TTB anterior–posterior absolute minimum (P = .033) and mean minima (P = .050) compared with those who did not attend supervised rehabilitation. Conclusions: Among individuals with CAI, not attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury may lead to worse static postural control outcomes. Clinicians should continue advocating for patients recovering from an acute ankle sprain to seek medical attention and provide continued care in the form of physical rehabilitation.

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Kyle B. Kosik, Kathryn Lucas, Matthew C. Hoch, Jacob T. Hartzell, Katherine A. Bain, and Phillip A. Gribble

Studies have demonstrated that individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) have diminished dynamic stability. Jerk-based measures have been utilized to examine dynamic balance because of their ability to quantify changes in acceleration and may provide an understanding of the postural corrections that occur during stabilizing following a jumping task. The purpose of this study was to compare acceleration and jerk following a jump stabilization task between individuals with CAI and the uninjured controls. Thirty-nine participants volunteered to participate in this case control study. Participants completed a jump stabilization task requiring them to jump off 2 feet, touch a marker set at 50% of their maximal vertical jump height, land on a single limb, and maintain balance for 3 seconds. Acceleration was calculated as the second derivative, and jerk was calculated as the third derivative of the displacement of the resultant vector position. Participants with CAI had greater acceleration (mean difference = 55.6 cm/s2; 95% confidence interval, 10.3 to 100.90; P = .017) and jerk compared with the uninjured controls (mean difference = 1804.5 cm/s3; 95% confidence interval, 98.7 to 3510.3; P = .039). These results suggest that individuals with CAI made faster and more frequent active postural control corrections to regain balance following a jump compared with the uninjured controls.

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Katherine A. Bain, Paige A. Clawson, Stacey A. Slone, Phillip A. Gribble, Johanna M. Hoch, Matthew C. Hoch, and Kyle B. Kosik

Context: Strength deficits and decreased scores on generic, dimension-specific, and region-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL) PRO measures are commonly documented among individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). However, it is unknown if there is a relationship between hip strength and self-reported patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores. Objective: To compare isometric peak torque for hip-extension (H-EXT) and hip-abduction (H-ABD), as well as PRO scores between CAI, lateral ankle sprain copers (LAS copers), and uninjured controls (UC). The secondary purpose was to examine the relationship between isometric hip peak torque and PROs in participants with CAI. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Sixty-three individuals, 45 women (23.02 [3.83] y, 165.91 [7.55] cm, 67.28 [11.95] kg) and 18 men (26.28 [5.43] y, 179.28 [9.01] cm, 83.87 [13.26] kg), grouped as uninjured control (n = 26), LAS coper (n = 15), or CAI (n = 22). Main Outcome Measures: The Foot and Ankle Ability Measure was used to assess region-specific HRQL. The Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire was used to assess injury-related fear. The Disablement in Physically Active was used to assess global HRQL. Isometric peak torque was measured with a handheld dynamometer for H-EXT and H-ABD. Results: No group differences were observed for H-ABD (P = .34) or H-EXT (P = .35). The CAI group had significantly worse scores on all PROs compared with LAS coper (P < .001) and HC (P < .001). Moderate–weak correlations were found between H-ABD and Foot and Ankle Ability Measure—activities of daily living (P = .047; ρ = .392) and Foot and Ankle Ability Measure-Sport (P = .013; ρ = .482) and H- EXT and Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire-Work (P = .007; ρ = −.517). Conclusions: Individuals with CAI displayed lower HRQL based on worse scores on generic, dimension-specific, and region-specific PROs compared with LAS copers and uninjured controls. There were no significant between-group differences for H-EXT and H-ABD isometric peak torque production, but there was a moderate positive relationship between isometric H-ABD and self-reported ankle disability in individuals with CAI.