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Predictors of recurrent lateral ankle sprains

Which factors predict recurrent ankle sprains after a first episode?

More than half of the people who experience their first episode (index) lateral ankle sprain experience recurrent sprains.

In an effort to find the predictors of this recurrent sprain, studies have been conducted in identifying impairments after the sprains have occurred. These studies are retrospective in nature.

The purpose of this study was to identify factors using a prospective design where the participants would be tested for baseline measures and followed up over a 12-month period for lateral ankle sprain injuries. 

It was found that recurrent ankle sprains occurred in 25% of participants in the index sprain group and only 4% of controls. 

Using various data analysis methods, the only 2 independent variables that predicted recurrent ankle sprains were: a history of a previous ankle sprain and younger age. 

Further analysis of data also showed that a cluster of factors, i.e., younger males with a history of ankle sprain, lower ankle stability score, greater body weight and height, increased ankle joint laxity, increased correction required with single leg balance, greater inversion/ eversion peak power were at higher risk of sprain. 

Similar to previous retrospective studies, the only independent factors for predicting recurrent ankle sprains were a previous history of an ankle sprain and younger age. 

> From: Pourkazemi et al., Physiotherapy 104 (2018) 430-437 . All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary. Translation by Jonathan Ko

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