Return to sport after ankle sprains

...what is the international consensus on the best practices

Despite being the most common traumatic injury in sports, there is still a lack of established criteria-based guidelines for return to sport (RTS) after injury. This may contribute to the high recurrence rate of ankle sprains and promote early/ inadequate RTS.

Altogether these were coined "the PAASS framework". The framework was developed to inform clinicians on what is (and isn’t) important for RTS clearance after an ankle sprain.

Nevertheless, the authors stress that this panel did not evaluate the measures that may be used to assess each domain. Moreover, individual- and sport-specific factors should also be taken into consideration.

> From: Smith et al., Br J Sports Med 55 (2021) 1270-1276 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.

Expert opinion

Considering how common it is, everyone working in the sports or musculoskeletal fields has probably been faced with an ankle sprain. This makes it even more surprising that there is still a lack of established criteria for the return to sport after such an injury.

As stated by the authors, an inadequate return to sport may contribute to the high recurrence rate of these injuries, and it is common for ankle impairments to worsen after each recurrence. Therefore, any prevented index injury or recurrence has a great impact on participation.

This consensus statement follows on previous ones for other conditions and identifies useful domains to consider in the return to sports decision. Moreover, the full text is free to access, which makes it a must on everyone’s reference folder.

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