Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is characterized by repeated ankle sprains, which have been linked to postural instability. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to identify individuals with CAI who can benefit from rehabilitation.
To assess the likelihood that CAI participants will exhibit impaired postural stability and that healthy control participants will exhibit better test performance values.
Patients or Other Participants:
People with CAI (n = 17, age = 23 ± 4 years, height = 168 ± 9 cm, weight = 68 ± 12 kg) who reported ankle “giving-way” sensations and healthy volunteers (n = 17, age = 23 ± 3 years, height = 168 ± 8 cm, weight = 66 ± 12 kg).
Participants performed 7 balance tests: Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), time in balance, foot lift, single-legged stance on a force plate, Star Excursion Balance Test, side hop, and figure-of-8 hop.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Balance was quantified with errors (score) for the BESS, length of time balancing (seconds) for time-in-balance test, frequency of foot lifts (score) for foot-lift test, velocity (cm/s) for all center-of-pressure velocity measures, excursion (cm) for center-of-pressure excursion measures, area (cm2) for 95% confidence ellipse center-of-pressure area and center-of-pressure rectangular area, time (seconds) for anterior-posterior and medial-lateral time-to-boundary (TTB) measures, distance reached (cm) for Star Excursion Balance Test, and time (seconds) to complete side-hop and figure-of-8 hop tests. We calculated area-under-the-curve values and cutoff scores and used the odds ratio to determine if those with and without CAI could be distinguished using cutoff scores.
We found significant area-under-the-curve values for 4 static noninstrumented measures, 3 force-plate measures, and 3 functional measures. Significant cutoff scores were noted for the time-in-balance test (≤25.89 seconds), foot-lift test (≥5), single-legged stance on the firm surface (≥3 errors) and total (≥14 errors) on the BESS, center-of-pressure resultant velocity (≥1.56 cm/s), standard deviations for medial-lateral (≤1.56 seconds) time-to-boundary and anterior-posterior (≤3.78 seconds) time-to-boundary test, posteromedial direction on the Star Excursion Balance Test (≤0.91), side-hop test (≥12.88 seconds), and figure-of-8 hop test (≥17.36 seconds).
Clinicians can use any of the 10 significant measures with their associated cutoff scores to identify those who could benefit from rehabilitation that reestablishes postural stability.