Recovery of Range of Motion Following Lateral Ankle Sprain
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Lateral ankle sprains are the most common ankle injury sustained in sport accounting for 85% of injuries (Gutierrez et al., 2007). The nature of the injury and the damage to the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) causes a deficit in range of movement which may not be restored if a rehabilitation programme is not completed. There is a scarcity of research specifically focusing on the range of movement post ATFL sprain. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to learn the recovery of dorsiflexion range of movement (DROM) post lateral ligament sprain, and compare the injured limb to the non-injured limb. A total of 23 subjects, who had sustained an ATFL injury in the last three years with no other lower extremity injuries were recruited to participate in the study. Using both an inclinometer and the knee to wall test the participants’ DROM was measured three times on both the injured and non-injured limb. Using the knee to wall test the injured limb scores were significantly different in comparison to the non-injured limb (P = 0.208). Similarly, using the inclinometer the injured limb was significantly different to the non-injured limb (P= 0.154). The results were recorded and analysed to identify key themes and relationships between the two limbs. Results from this study showed that there was a significant statistical difference in DROM between the non-injured and the injured limb. These findings indicate that ATFL injuries cause a deficit in the DROM post injury and are useful to reiterate the importance of rehabilitation post injury to enable the injured athlete to make a full recovery and return to competition.
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