Question:I've had two ankle injuries in the last two years (same ankle). Is there any way to tell if I'm going to have another injury?
Studies show the re-injury rate after ankle sprain is 70 percent or more. For those who don't reinjure the ankle, ongoing symptoms may be a problem. Pain during activity and swelling that comes and goes are commonly reported symptoms. Having the ankle give-way is another.
Predicting who will and who won't have a re-injury isn't easy. Scientists do know that a loss of joint position sense called proprioception puts the ankle at increased risk for injury. A recent study at the University of Florida found a test called Time to Stabilize (TTS) that may be useful.
TTS is a measure of ankle stability. The test looks at how well the ankle stays balanced when moving from one position to another. For example jumping and landing without taking an extra step and without losing footing is measured by the TTS.
Further study is needed before this test is ready to use but it looks hopeful as a way to predict future ankle injury.Erik A. Wikstrom, MS, ATC/L, et al. Detection of Dynamic Stability Deficits in Subjects with Functional Ankle Instability. In Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. February 2005. Vol. 37. No. 2. Pp. 169-175.
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