Objectives This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of some intrinsic risk factors among elite football and basketball players with or without history of acute or recurrent ankle sprain.
Methods One hundred and six professional football and basketball players, referred for pre- participation examinations were recruited in this study. Prepared checklist was completed for each participant. Athletes were asked for any history of previous ankle sprain and the severity (based on self-description of signs and symptoms by the athlete) and number of injuries in the last two years. All players were assessed for measures of foot posture index- 6, foot length and width, Beighton generalised joint laxity score, anterior drawer and talar tilt tests, star excursion and single leg balance tests and goniometric assessment of ankle plantarflexion, ankle dorsiflexion and first metatarsophalangeal dorsiflexion.
Results Forty eight basketball players (45.3%) and 58 football players (54.7%) with mean (SD) age of 19.8 (4.5) years participated. About 58.5% and 14.2% of athletes had a history of acute and recurrent ankle sprain in at least one extremity, respectively. Sprains were more prevalent in basketball players (P = 0.002 and P = 0.018 for acute and recurrent sprains) and in dominant leg (P = 0.01). There was no significant difference in assessed risk factors between athletes with and without history of ankle sprain (P > 0.05), except for positive single leg balance test which was more prevalent in athletes with history of acute ankle sprain (P = 0.035) and also for positive talar tilt test (P = 0.04) and decreased ankle plantarflexion range of motion in acute (P = 0.009) and recurrent (P = 0.02) injury of left ankle.
Conclusions Some intrinsic risk factors including lateral ankle ligaments laxity, balance and ankle plantarflexion seem to be related to acute or recurrent LAS in athletes. Further research is needed to reveal the role of different arthrokinematics following lateral ankle sprain.
- Ankle instability
- Joint laxity
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