TitleLower extremity kinematics and ground reaction forces after prophylactic lace-up ankle bracing.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDiStefano, LJ, Padua, DA, Brown, CN, Guskiewicz, KM
JournalJ Athl Train
Date Published2008 May-Jun
KeywordsAdult, Ankle Injuries, Biomechanical Phenomena, Braces, Female, Humans, Lower Extremity, Male, Range of Motion, Articular, Sports Medicine, Time Factors

CONTEXT: Long-term effects of ankle bracing on lower extremity kinematics and kinetics are unknown. Ankle motion restriction may negatively affect the body's ability to attenuate ground reaction forces (GRFs).

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the immediate and long-term effects of ankle bracing on lower extremity kinematics and GRFs during a jump landing.

DESIGN: Experimental mixed model (2 [group] x 2 [brace] x 2 [time]) with repeated measures.

SETTING: Sports medicine research laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 37 healthy subjects were assigned randomly to either the intervention (n = 11 men, 8 women; age = 19.63 +/- 0.72 years, height = 176.05 +/- 10.58 cm, mass = 71.50 +/- 13.15 kg) or control group (n = 11 men, 7 women; age = 19.94 +/- 1.44 years, height = 179.15 +/- 8.81 cm, mass = 74.10 +/- 10.33 kg).

INTERVENTION(S): The intervention group wore braces on both ankles and the control group did not wear braces during all recreational activities for an 8-week period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Initial ground contact angles, maximum joint angles, time to reach maximum joint angles, and joint range of motion for sagittal-plane knee and ankle motion were measured during a jump-landing task. Peak vertical GRF and the time to reach peak vertical GRF were assessed also.

RESULTS: While participants were wearing the brace, ankle plantar flexion at initial ground contact (brace = 35 degrees +/- 13 degrees , no brace = 38 degrees +/- 15 degrees , P = .024), maximum dorsiflexion (brace = 21 degrees +/- 7 degrees , no brace = 22 degrees +/- 6 degrees , P = .04), dorsiflexion range of motion (brace = 56 degrees +/- 14 degrees , no brace = 59 degrees +/- 16 degrees , P = .001), and knee flexion range of motion (brace = 79 degrees +/- 16 degrees , no brace = 82 degrees +/- 16 degrees , P = .036) decreased, whereas knee flexion at initial ground contact increased (brace = 12 degrees +/- 9 degrees , no brace = 9 degrees +/- 9 degrees , P = .0001). Wearing the brace for 8 weeks did not affect any of the outcome measures, and the brace caused no changes in vertical GRFs (P > .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Although ankle sagittal-plane motion was restricted with the brace, knee flexion upon landing increased and peak vertical GRF did not change. The type of lace-up brace used in this study appeared to restrict ankle motion without increasing knee extension or vertical GRFs and without changing kinematics or kinetics over time.

Alternate JournalJ Athl Train
PubMed ID18523572
PubMed Central IDPMC2386429