Increased Frequency of Ankle Sprain Does Not Lead to an Increase in Ligament Laxity.
Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries sustained by the general population. 85% of ankle injuries are ankle sprains with around 850000 new ankle injuries seen yearly in the US. Despite optimal treatment and rehab, around 20-40% of patients have prolonged pain and complain of a sensation of the ankle ‘giving way’.
The authors of this study wanted to see if repeat ankle sprains are associated with an increase in ankle ligamentous laxity. They looked at 203 NCAA Division 1 athletes (84 females, 119 males) with similar demographics. They excluded participants with ankle sprains in last 6 months, previous lower extremity fracture or current neurological problem. The subjects were asked to report the number of ankle sprains sustained in each ankle and if a doctor or trainer had diagnosed them. Using an ankle arthrometer, measurements for anterior displacement, inversion and eversion of the ankle were obtained.
They found no relationship between ligament laxity and number of ankle sprains in any direction. Additionally they found no difference in ligament laxity between previously injured ankles and never-injured ankles. Thus, the authors recommended further studies into examining other factors associated sensations of instability and their role in recurrent ankle sprains > From Liu et al., Clin J Sports Med 23 (2013) 483-487. All rights reserved to Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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