Biomechanics of Ankle Instability. Part 2: Postural Sway-Reaction Time Relationship.

Mitchell, Andrew; Dyson, Rosemary; Hale, Tudor; Abraham, Corinne

The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that ankles with functional instability will demonstrate greater single-limb postural sway (PS) than their contralateral stable joint and stable healthy controls and to examine the relationship between single-limb postural sway and muscular reaction time to a simulated ankle sprain mechanism.  Nineteen male volunteers with a history of unilateral ankle sprain and functional ankle instability (FAI) and 19 healthy male controls performed 12 single-limb PS tests, 3 on each leg with and without vision. Results reveal postural sway deficits in ankles with FAI. They also demonstrate a significant relationship between PL and PB reaction times and postural sway in UA.

Individuals who sustain an acute ankle sprain and those with FAI require rehabilitation that improves proprioception, strengthens the evertors and dorsiflexors, and restores peroneal reaction time.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2008,    40(8), 1522-1528

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