Dynamic Balance Deficits 6 Months Following First-Time Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain

This study aimed to utilize kinematic and stabilometric measures to compare dynamic balance during performance of the Star Excursion Balance Test between persons 6 months after first-time lateral ankle sprain (LAS) and a noninjured control group. Sagittal plane kinematics of the lower extremity and the center-of-pressure path during the performance of the anterior, posterolateral, and posteromedial reach directions of the Star Excursion Balance Test were procured from 69 participants 6 months after first-time acute LAS and from a control group of 20 noninjured participants. Compared to the control group, the LAS group displayed lower normalized reach distances in all 3 reach directions on the injured and noninjured limbs, with the greatest observed effect size in the posterolateral direction (P = .001, ηp(2) = 0.07). The performance impairment was related to reduced hip and knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion at the point of maximum reach (P<.02), and coincided with less complexity of the center-of-pressure path (P<.05).

Participants with a 6-month history of LAS display a persistence of deficits previously established in the acute phase of injury.

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