2015 ISAKOS Biennial Congress ePoster #131

Do Ankle Sleeves and Lace-Up Braces Effect Neuromuscular Control and Athletic Performance?

Seth L. Sherman, MD, Redwood City, CA UNITED STATES
Blake M. Bodendorfer, MD, Washington, DC UNITED STATES
Gary Stover, Columbia, MO UNITED STATES
Christopher James, MD, Columbia, MO UNITED STATES
Nicholas Arnold, MD, Columbia, MO UNITED STATES
Aaron Gray, MD, Columbia, MO UNITED STATES
Ben Summerhays, DPM, Columbia, MO UNITED STATES

University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

FDA Status Not Applicable

Summary: Athletes wearing ankle sleeves and lace-up braces demonstrated improvements in neuromuscular control during the DVJ (decreased hip internal rotation, increased knee flexion at initial contact), decreased ankle torque during 45 degree bounding, and no performance time deficit versus control during cutting maneuvers. There was no difference detected between sleeve and lace-up ankle brace.

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Abstract:

Introduction

Athletes commonly wear fitted silicone ankle sleeves (SAS) and lace-up ankle braces (LAB). There is limited data about their effect on neuromuscular control or athletic performance. Our goal is to evaluate their efficacy in a young, active population during athletic tasks using motion analysis.

Material And Methods

Ten subjects (5 males, 5 females) without prior musculoskeletal injury were recruited. They were asked to perform the Drop Vertical Jump test (DVJ), 45 degree bound, and cutting maneuvers under three conditions: No brace, SAS, LAB. DVJ was used as a surrogate for neuromuscular control, and the 45 degree bound and cutting for athletic performance. Tasks were performed in separate sessions to minimize effects of fatigue. Markerless motion-capture technology was used for data collection. For the DVJ, knee flexion, hip internal rotation, and dynamic valgus were measured during both contact and loading phases of landing. Ankle torque and range of motion were also evaluated. For the 45 degree bound, ankle torque was measured during the initial movement to the dominant knee. Performance time for the cutting with the dominant pivot foot was recorded. Statistics were calculated using a two-tailed Student’s t-test with significance set at p=0.05.

Results

When compared to controls for both the contact and loading phases of the DVJ, use of the SAS or LAB demonstrated significantly decreased hip internal rotation (67%, 15%, respectively), ankle torque (13%, 11% respectively), and ankle range of motion (p<0.01). Knee flexion was increased at initial contact in both the SAS and LAB groups compared to control (p<0.01). There was no significant effect of the braces on dynamic knee valgus, and no differences detected between the SAS and LAB on all parameters.

When compared to controls for the 45 degree bound, ankle torque was significantly reduced for subjects wearing either SAS or LAB (24%, 13.5% respectively, p<0.01). The use of SAS or LAB had no significant effect on timed cutting maneuver vs. controls (p=0.1181, p=0.1124 respectively). There were no differences detected between the SAS and LAB for all parameters.

Discussion

Athletes wearing ankle sleeves and lace-up braces demonstrated improvements in neuromuscular control during the DVJ (decreased hip internal rotation, increased knee flexion at initial contact), decreased ankle torque during 45 degree bounding maneuvers, and no performance time deficit versus control during cutting maneuvers. There were no differences detected in either neuromuscular control or athletic performance between the brace types. The effect that these findings have on the incidence of lower extremity injury remains largely unknown and requires further investigation.