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Nathan J. Crockett and Michelle A. Sandrey

Context:

Few studies have evaluated the long-term effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a sport season.

Objective:

To determine the effects of prophylactic ankle-brace use during a high school basketball season on dynamic postural control and functional tests.

Design:

Prospective repeated-measures design.

Setting:

High school athletic facility.

Participants:

21 healthy high school basketball athletes (13 girls, 8 boys).

Interventions:

The order of testing was randomized using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) for posteromedial (PM), medial (M), and anteromedial (AM) directions and 3 functional tests (FT) consisting of the single-leg crossover hop, single-leg vertical jump, and the single-leg 6-m hop for time at pre-, mid-, and postseason. After pretesting, the ankle brace was worn on both limbs during the entire 16-wk competitive basketball season.

Main Outcome Measures:

SEBT for PM, M, and AM and 3 single-leg FTs.

Results:

Dynamic postural control using the SEBT and the 3 FTs improved over time, notably from pretest to posttest. The left limb was different from the right limb during the single-leg vertical jump. Effect sizes were large for pretest to posttest for the 3 SEBT directions and 2 of the 3 FTs.

Conclusions:

The 16-wk basketball prophylactic ankle-brace intervention significantly improved dynamic postural control and single-limb FTs over time.