The chronic ankle instability (CAI) that results from a lateral ankle sprain causes balance deficits during quiet standing. Dynamic postural control in patients with CAI can be improved using soft and semirigid braces.
This study was aimed at investigating the effects of soft and semirigid ankle supports on dynamic postural stability in subjects with CAI.
Materials and Methods
Fifteen subjects with unilateral CAI as the CAI group and 15 healthy control subjects as the control group were recruited for participation in the study. Stability indexes (SIs), including overall SI, anteroposterior SI, and mediolateral SI, were determined using the Biodex Balance System (BBS), and lower-limb reach was ascertained using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT). These indicators were measured under three conditions: without orthosis, with soft orthosis, and with semirigid orthosis.
Significant differences in overall SI were found between the affected and healthy feet of the CAI group (P = 0.009) and between the affected feet of the CAI group and the healthy feet of the control group (P = 0.031). The SEBT revealed significant differences between the injured and uninjured sides of the CAI group in the anterior, anterior-medial, and anterior-lateral directions. With the use of soft ankle supports, no significant differences were found between the affected and unaffected limbs of the CAI group in the overall and mediolateral SIs of BBS test and the anterior-medial (P = 0.057) and anterior-lateral (P = 0.07) directions of SEBT.
The soft ankle support has more effect on the balance of the CAI patients in comparison with the semirigid orthosis.