A limited understanding of how functional ankle instability (FAI) affects dynamic postural stability exists because of a lack of reliable and valid measures. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to determine whether a new reliable index for dynamic postural stability could differentiate between those with stable ankles and those with FAI.
Data were collected on 108 subjects (54 subjects with stable ankles (STABLE group); 54 subjects with functionally unstable ankles (FAI group)). Subjects performed a single-leg-hop stabilization maneuver in which they stood 70 cm from the center of a force plate, jumped off both legs, touched a designated marker placed at a height equivalent to 50% of their maximum vertical leap, and landed on a single leg. The dynamic postural stability index and directional stability indices (medial/lateral, anterior/posterior, and vertical) were calculated. The raw and normalized (to energy dissipated) indices were compared between groups.
Significant differences were noted for the anterior/posterior stability index (FAI = 0.36 ± 0.09, STABLE = 0.30 ± 0.06). Similar results were seen for the vertical stability index (FAI = 0.73 ± 0.17, STABLE = 0.61 ± 0.13), the normalized dynamic postural stability index (FAI = 0.85 ± 0.17, STABLE = 0.73 ± 0.12), the normalized vertical stability index (FAI = 0.007 ± 0.004, STABLE = 0.005 ± 0.001), and the dynamic postural stability index (FAI = 0.008 ± 0.003, STABLE = 0.006 ± 0.001).
These results indicate that the dynamic postural stability index is a sensitive measure of dynamic postural stability and is capable of detecting differences between individuals with stable ankles and individuals with functionally unstable ankles.
1Center for Exercise Science; and 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Address for correspondence: Erik A. Wikstrom, M.S., A.T.C., University of Florida, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, PO Box 118205 Gainesville, FL 32611-8205; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted for publication June 2006.
Accepted for publication October 2006.