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Miranda Rudnick and Brian Wallace

to three times more likely in the absence of ankle supports ( Dizon & Reyes, 2010 ; McGuine, Brooks, & Hetzel, 2011 ; Rosenbaum et al., 2005 ; Sitler et al., 1994 ). Ankle taping and bracing cost between US$28.00 and US$40.00 per one ankle over the duration of one season ( Mickel et al., 2006

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Cornelius John, Andreas Stotz, Julian Gmachowski, Anna Lina Rahlf, Daniel Hamacher, Karsten Hollander, and Astrid Zech

the development of CAI. The question remains whether external ankle supports rather lead to an enhancement of functional or mechanical or both components. Functional components, such as static and dynamic balance and poor landing biomechanics, have been shown to be associated with lower

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Mitchell L. Cordova, Yosuke Takahashi, Gregory M. Kress, Jody B. Brucker, and Alfred E. Finch

Objective:

To investigate the effects of external ankle support (EAS) on lower extremity joint mechanics and vertical ground-reaction forces (VGRF) during drop landings.

Design:

A 1 × 3 repeated-measures, crossover design.

Setting:

Biomechanics research laboratory.

Patients:

13 male recreationally active basketball players (age 22.3 ± 2.2 y, height 177.5 ± 7.5 cm, mass 72.2 ± 11.4 kg) free from lower extremity pathology for the 12 mo before the study.

Interventions:

Subjects performed a 1-legged drop landing from a standardized height under 3 different ankle-support conditions.

Main Outcome Measures:

Hip, knee, and ankle angular displacement along with specific temporal (TGRFz1, TGRFz2; s) and spatial (GRFz1, GRFz2; body-weight units [BW]) characteristics of the VGRF vector were measured during a drop landing.

Results:

The tape condition (1.08 ± 0.09 BW) demonstrated less GRFz1 than the control (1.28 ± 0.16 BW) and semirigid conditions (1.28 ± 0.21 BW; P < .0001), and GRFz2 was unaffected. For TGRFz1, no-support displayed slower time (0.017 ± 0.004 s) than the semirigid (0.014 ± 0.001 s) and tape conditions (0.014 ± 0.002 s; P < .05). For TGRFz2, no-support displayed slower time (0.054 ±.006 s) than the semirigid (0.050 ± 0.006 s) and tape conditions (0.045 ± 0.004 s; P < .05). Semirigid bracing was slower than the tape condition, as well (P < .05). Ankle-joint displacement was less in the tape (34.6° ± 7.7°) and semirigid (36.8° ± 9.3°) conditions than in no-support (45.7° ± 7.3°; P < .05). Knee-joint displacement was larger in the no-support (45.1° ± 9.0°) than in the semirigid (42.6° ± 6.8°; P < .05) condition. Tape support (43.8° ± 8.7°) did not differ from the semirigid condition (P > .05). Hip angular displacement was not affected by EAS (F 2,24 = 1.47, P = .25).

Conclusions:

EAS reduces ankle- and knee-joint displacement, which appear to influence the spatial and temporal characteristics of GRFz1 during drop landings.

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Brad Hodgson, Laurie Tis, Steven Cobb, and Elizabeth Higbie

Objective:

To examine the effects of external ankle support on vertical ground-reaction forces (VGRF) and kinematic data.

Methods:

Subjects completed 2 braced and 2 nonbraced 0.61-m hanging drop landings onto a force platform. Kinematic data were collected with 8 digital-optical cameras sampling at 120 Hz.

Subjects:

12 Division I female volleyball players.

Statistical Analysis:

A repeated-measures ANOVA with Bonferroni correction (P < .05) was used to determine whether significant differences existed between test conditions for peak VGRF, loading rate, hip angle, knee angle, and ankle angle at right-foot contact for peak 1 and peak 2 of the VGRF curve over the first 100 milliseconds of the landing phase, as well as total hip range of motion (ROM), total knee ROM, and total ankle ROM for the entire landing phase.

Results:

There were significant increases in peak P1 and LR1 and a significant decrease in ankle-angle change at right-foot contact in braced trials compared with the nonbraced condition.

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Danée M. DesRochers and David E. Cox

Column-editor : Jeff Allen

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Scott Reisberg and Mary C. Verstraete

An investigation of the literature on the use of prophylactic ankle braces for preventing lateral ankle sprains revealed methodological flaws and frequently inappropriate extrapolation of results. Existing research is inadequate and not definitive enough to warrant confident use of particular supportive modes. It is therefore apparent that more reliable scientific functional data and empirical conclusions are necessary when researching this topic. Suggestions for further research are offered and encouraged.

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Scott Reisberg and Mary C. Verstraete

An investigation of the literature on the use of prophylactic ankle braces for preventing lateral ankle sprains revealed methodological flaws and frequently inappropriate extrapolation of results. Existing research is inadequate and not definitive enough to warrant confident use of particular supportive modes. It is therefore apparent that more reliable scientific functional data and empirical conclusions are necessary when researching this topic. Suggestions for further research are offered and encouraged.

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Hollie Forbes, Sarah Thrussell, Nick Haycock, Monika Lohkamp, and Matthew White

Objective:

Ankle injuries are common in soccer and may result in ongoing functional deficiency. Ankle-joint prophylactic support is hypothesized to reduce the risk of injury. Analysis of the effects of prophylactic support has so far lacked application to soccer. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to illustrate the effects of tape and brace on selected proprioceptive components and range of motion (ROM) before, after, and during a soccer-match-simulation protocol.

Design and Setting:

A crossover study design was used to investigate plantarflexion (PF) ROM, inversion (INV) ROM, and joint-position sense (weight bearing and non-weight-bearing [NWBJPS]; ± °error) in tape, brace, and control conditions. Measures were gathered from the dominant leg in a biomechanics laboratory at 0, 15, 30, and 45 min of a soccer-specific aerobic field test 90-min (SAFT90) protocol.

Participants:

Eight healthy male subjects (age 20.5 ± 0.5 y) experienced the 3 conditions in random order with 7 d between conditions.

Intervention:

The tape condition used an open basket-weave technique; the brace was an AirCast AirSport brace. For the control condition no prophylactic support was applied.

Results:

Application of prophylactic support significantly decreased active ROM in PF and INV (P < .05), with tape performing better than the brace (0 min). Tape lost its restrictive benefits by 15 min (P < .001) and was no different than control, while the brace maintained some effect until 45 min. Application of prophylactic support increased NWBJPS performance (P < .01; 0 min); by 15 min the tape had lost its proprioceptive benefit (P < .01) compared with the brace.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that the clinical usefulness of ankle-joint prophylactic support is limited if the aim is to restrict ROM and improve proprioceptive capability under soccer-specific conditions. The relative benefits of each type of support need to be considered in the context of the time-specific nature of the activity.

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Kelley E. Farwell, Cameron J. Powden, Meaghan R. Powell, Cailee W. McCarty, and Matthew C. Hoch

Clinical Scenario:

Ankle injuries constitute a large number of injuries sustained by adolescent athletes participating in high school athletics. Prophylactic ankle bracing may be an effective and efficient method to reduce the incidence of ankle injuries in adolescent athletes in the secondary-school setting.

Clinical Question:

Do prophylactic ankle braces reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries in adolescent athletes?

Summary of Key Findings:

Two of the three included studies reported that prophylactic ankle braces reduced the incidence of ankle injuries compared with no ankle bracing.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is moderate evidence to support the use of prophylactic ankle braces in adolescent athletes, particularly those who participate in football and basketball, to reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries.

Strength of Recommendation:

Grade B evidence exists that prophylactic ankle braces reduce the incidence of acute ankle injuries in adolescent athletes.

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Meredith K. Owen, Julia A. Gambill, Jerome Razayeski, William C. Bridges, Cristina M. Acevedo, Naomi A. Wolhar, and John D. DesJardins

or higher range of motion activities. Clinical Implications Previous researchers have suggested that perspiration can affect the restrictive properties of athletic tape. 7 , 16 , 17 The novel synthetic adhesive tape maintained greater ankle support even with exposure to a saturated moisture