Sensorimotor function as a predictor of chronic ankle instability

JoEllen M.Sefton, Charlie A. Hicks-Little, Tricia J. Hubbard, Mark G. Clemens, Christopher M. Yengo, David M. Koceja and Mitchell L. Cordova

The purpose of this study was to further the understanding of the role of sensorimotor deficits in the chronically unstable ankle by establishing which specific measures best distinguish between chronically unstable and healthy ankles.  Twenty-two participants with chronic ankle instability and 21 healthy matched controls volunteered. Twenty-five variables were measured within four sensorimotor constructs: joint kinesthesia (isokinetic dynamometer), static balance (force plate), dynamic balance (Star Excursion Balance Test) and motoneuron pool excitability (electromyography).

The results suggest that a multivariate approach may be necessary to understand the role of sensorimotor function in chronic ankle instability, and to the development of appropriate rehabilitation and prevention programs. Out of the four overall constructs, only two were needed to accurately classify the participants into two groups. This indicates that static balance and motoneuron pool excitability may be more clinically important in treatment and rehabilitation of chronic ankle instability than functional balance or joint kinesthesia.

Clinical Biomechanics, 2009, 24(5), 451-458

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