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  • Author: Phillip A. Gribble x
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Kathryn A. Webster and Phillip A. Gribble

Context:

Functional rehabilitation is often employed for ankle instability, but there is little evidence to support its efficacy, especially in those with chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Objective:

To review studies using both functional rehabilitation interventions and functional measurements to establish the effectiveness of functional rehabilitation for both postural control and self-reported outcomes in those with CAI.

Evidence Acquisition:

The databases of Medline, SPORTDiscus, and PubMed were searched between the years 1988 and 2008. Inclusion criteria required articles to have used a clinical research trial involving at least 1 functional rehabilitation intervention, have at least 1 outcome measure of function and/or functional performance, and to have used at least 1 group of subjects who reported either repeated lateral ankle sprains or episodes of “giving way.” The term functional was operationally defined as dynamic, closed-kinetic-chain activity other than quiet standing.

Evidence Synthesis:

Six articles met the inclusion criteria. The articles reviewed used multiple functional means for assessment and training, with a wobble board or similar device being the most common. Despite effect sizes being inconsistent for measures of dynamic postural control, all interventions resulted in improvements. Significant improvements and strong effect sizes were demonstrated for self-reported outcomes.

Conclusions:

The reviewed studies using functional rehabilitation interventions and functional assessment tools were associated with improved ankle stability for both postural control and self-reported function, but more studies may be needed with more consistent effect sizes and confidence intervals to make a definitive conclusion.

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Kyle B. Kosik and Phillip A. Gribble

Clinical Scenario: Dorsiflexion range of motion is an important factor in the performance of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT). While patients with chronic ankle instability (CAI) commonly experience decreased reach distances on the SEBT, ankle joint mobilization has been suggested to be an effective therapeutic intervention for targeting dorsiflexion range of motion. Clinical Question: What is the evidence to support ankle joint mobilization for improving performance on the SEBT in patients with CAI? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles examining the effects of ankle joint mobilization on scores of the SEBT. A total of 3 peer-reviewed articles were retrieved, 2 prospective individual cohort studies and 1 randomized controlled trial. Only 2 articles demonstrated favorable results following 6 sessions of ankle joint mobilization. Clinical Bottom Line: Despite the mixed results, the majority of the available evidence suggests that ankle joint mobilization improves dynamic postural control. Strength of Recommendation: In accordance with the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine, the inconsistent results and the limited high-quality studies indicate that there is level C evidence to support the use of ankle joint mobilization to improve performance on the SEBT in patients with CAI.

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Shiho Goto, Naoko Aminaka and Phillip A. Gribble

Context : Altered lower-extremity muscle activity has been associated with lower-extremity kinematics in individuals with patellofemoral pain (PFP). However, few studies have examined these relationships, and the results are inconsistent. Objective: To compare the lower-extremity muscle activity, kinematics, pain level, and reach distance during the anterior reach of the star excursion balance test (SEBT) between participants with PFP and healthy individuals (control [CON] group). Design: Case control. Setting: Research laboratory. Participants: Twenty-eight (PFP = 14 and CON = 14) participants volunteered. Intervention: Each participant performed 3 maximal voluntary isometric contractions of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius (GMED), adductor longus (AL), and vastus medialis, and 5 anterior reaches of the SEBT. Main Outcome Measures: Three-dimensional joint kinematics of the hip and knee at the time of touchdown of the SEBT and integrated electromyography of each muscle were recorded during the descent phase of the SEBT. Coactivation ratios between the GMED and AL were calculated (GMED/AL). Pain level was assessed at the baseline and during performance of the SEBT, using a visual analog scale. Results: Participants with PFP demonstrated decreased GMED/AL coactivation ratio (P = .01) and shorter reach distance (P = .01) during anterior reach of the SEBT compared with the CON group. Participants with PFP demonstrated higher pain levels at baseline (P = .03) and during test performance (P < .001) compared with the CON group and increased pain level during the test performance compared with the baseline (P < .001). No other significant differences were observed. Conclusions: There were alterations in muscle activity during SEBT performance, suggesting that overactivity of AL relative to GMED is a unique neural recruitment pattern in those with PFP. However, hip and knee joint kinematics did not seem to contribute to deficits in the anterior reach distance, suggesting a need for continued assessment of these deficiencies.

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Megan Q. Beard, Samantha A. Boland and Phillip A. Gribble

Decreased hip strength is often present in patients with chronic overuse lower extremity injuries. The hand-held dynamometer (HHD) can be used in a clinical setting to quantify hip strength; however, reliability of the device remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the interexaminer and intersession reliability of a HHD when measuring isometric hip abduction (HABD) and external rotation (HER) strength, both with and without a fixed strap. The HHD had good to high reliability regardless of examiner, session, or stabilization when measuring HABD (ICC = 0.885–0.977) and HER (ICC = 0.879–0.958) isometric strength. HHD is an appropriate instrument for measuring isometric hip strength.

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Kyle Kosik, Masafumi Treada, Ryan McCann, Samantha Boland and Phillip A. Gribble

Proximal neuromuscular alterations are hypothesized to contribute to the patient- and disease-oriented deficits observed in CAI individuals. The objective was to compare the efficacy of two 4-week intervention programs with or without proximal joint exercises. Twenty-three individuals with CAI completed this single-blinded randomized controlled trial. Outcome measures included the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM). A time main effect was observed for the FAAM-ADL (p = .013), FAAM-Sport (p = .012), and posteromedial (p = .04) and posterolateral (p = .003) SEBT reach directions. No group main effect or time by group interaction was found. Four weeks of supervised rehabilitation improved self-reported function and dynamic balance in people with CAI.

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Ryan S. McCann and Phillip A. Gribble

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Brian G. Pietrosimone, Adam S. Lepley, Hayley M. Ericksen, Phillip A. Gribble and Jason Levine

Background:

Disability is common in a proportion of patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R). Neuromuscular quadriceps deficits are a hallmark impairment after ACL-R, yet the link between muscle function and disability is not understood.

Purposes:

To evaluate the ability of quadriceps strength and cortical excitability to predict self-reported disability in patients with ACL-R.

Methods:

Fifteen participants with a history of ACL-R (11 female, 4 male; 172 ± 9.8 cm, 70.4 ± 17.5 kg, 54.4 ± 40.9 mo postsurgery) were included in this study. Corticospinal excitability was assessed using active motor thresholds (AMT), while strength was assessed with maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC). Both voluntary strength and corticospinal excitability were used to predict disability measured with the International Knee Documentation Committee Index (IKDC).

Results:

The overall multiple-regression model significantly predicted 66% of the variance in self-reported disability as measured by the IKDC index (R 2 = .66, P = .01). Initial imputation of MVIC into the model accounted for 61% (R 2 = .61, P = .01) of the variance in IKDC. The subsequent addition of AMT into the model accounted for an insignificant increase of 5% (Δ R 2 = .05, P = .19) in the prediction capability of the model.

Conclusions:

Quadriceps voluntary strength and cortical excitability predicted two-thirds of the variance in disability of patients with ACL-R, with strength accounting for virtually all of the predictive capability of the model.

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Phillip A. Gribble, Richard H. Robinson, Jay Hertel and Craig R. Denegar

Context:

Deficits in static postural control related to fatigue have been investigated previously, but there is little evidence to link fatigue to performance measures of dynamic postural control.

Objective:

To investigate the effects of fatigue and gender on performance measures of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT).

Design:

Mixed-model design.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

16 healthy young adults.

Intervention:

Subjects performed the SEBT before and after 4 different fatiguing conditions.

Main Outcome Measures:

The normalized reach distances and sagittal-plane kinematics of the knee and hip were recorded.

Results:

Fatigue produced deficits in normalized reach distances and decreased knee flexion in all 3 reaching directions. Overall, women were able to reach farther than men while simultaneously demonstrating a greater amount of knee flexion.

Conclusions:

Gender differences were observed during performance of the SEBT, with women demonstrating greater reach distances and knee flexion, and fatigue amplified these differences.

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Hayley M. Ericksen, Brian Pietrosimone, Phillip A. Gribble and Abbey C. Thomas

Context: Feedback is an important factor in interventions designed to reduce anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. Self-analysis feedback requires participants to self-critique their jump-landing mechanics; however, it is unknown if individuals can effectively self-analyze their own biomechanics and if this self-analysis agrees with observed biomechanical changes by an expert. Objective: To determine agreement between an expert and participants on biomechanical errors committed during 3 of 12 sessions, which were part of an intervention to change jump-landing biomechanics in healthy females. Design: Descriptive analysis. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Healthy recreationally active females with no history of lower-extremity fracture or surgery. Interventions: Participants completed a 4-week, 12-session feedback intervention. Each intervention session lasted approximately 15 minutes and included asking participants to perform 6 sets of 6 jumps off a 30-cm-high box placed 50% of their height away from the target landing area. Participants performed self-analysis feedback and received expert feedback on 7 different jump-landing criteria following each set of jumps. Main Outcome Measures: Data were coded, and agreement between the expert and the participant was assessed using Cohen’s unweighted kappa for sessions 1, 6, and 12. Results: There was agreement between the expert and participants for 0/7 criteria for session 1, 3/7 criteria for session 6, and 4/7 criteria for session 12. Conclusions: Participants demonstrated some agreement with the expert when evaluating their jump-landing biomechanics. Self-analysis feedback may not replace what an expert can provide; both types of feedback may be better used in conjunction to produce significant biomechanical changes. Changes made by the participant may not translate into biomechanical changes during a real-life game or practice situation. Future research should continue to investigate effective interventions to reduce injury risk.

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Matthew Harkey, Michelle M. McLeod, Masafumi Terada, Phillip A. Gribble and Brian G. Pietrosimone

Context:

Spinal-reflexive and corticomotor excitability may have a critical role in altering muscle function needed to stabilize the ankle in people with chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Objective:

To determine the association between self-reported disability and both spinal-reflexive and corticomotor excitability in people with CAI.

Design:

Descriptive laboratory study.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

30 participants with CAI.

Main Outcome Measures:

Soleus spinal-reflexive excitability was measured with normalized Hoffmann reflexes (H:M ratio), and corticomotor excitability was measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation and quantified by normalized motor-evoked-potential (MEP) amplitudes at 120% of active motor threshold (120%MEP). Self-reported disability was quantified with the activities-of-daily-living and sport subscales of the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM-ADL and FAAM-S). Separate linear Pearson product–moment correlations and nonlinear quadratic correlations were used to determine associations between the neural-excitability and disability variables.

Results:

Thirty participants were included in the spinal-reflexive-excitability analysis, while only 19 were included in the corticomotor analysis. There was a significant, weak linear association between H:M ratio and FAAM-ADL (R = .39, P = .03) and a nonsignificant, weak linear association between H:M ratio and FAAM-S (R = .36, P = .06). There were significant, moderate quadratic associations between H:M ratio and both FAAM-ADL (R = .48, P = .03) and FAAM-S (R = .50, P = .02). There was a significant, moderate linear association between 120%MEP and FAAM-ADL (R = –.48, P = .04) and a nonsignificant, moderate negative linear association between FAAM-S (R = –.42, P = .07). There was a significant, moderate quadratic association between 120%MEP and FAAM-ADL (R = .57, P = .046) and a significant, strong quadratic correlation between 120%MEP and FAAM-S (R = .71, P = .004).

Conclusions:

There are significant quadratic associations between self-reported disability and both spinal-reflexive and corticomotor excitability of the soleus. CAI participants with low or high neural excitability present with lower function.