Position-specific deficit of joint position sense in ankles with chronic functional instability

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Nagasaki University , Nagasaki, Japan.
Journal of sports science & medicine (Impact Factor: 1.03). 12/2008; 7(4):480-5.
Source: PubMed


The present study was aimed to test a hypothesis that individuals with functional ankle instability (FAI) underestimate the joint angle at greater plantarflexion and inversion. Seventeen males with unilateral FAI and 17 controls (males without FAI) consented for participation in this IRB-approved, case-control study. Using a passive reproduction test, we assessed ankle joint position sense (JPS) for test positions between 30 and -10 degrees plantarflexion with an inclement of 10 degrees with or without 20° inversion at each plantarflexion angle. The constant error (CE) was defined as the value obtained by subtracting the true angle of a test position from the corresponding perceived angle. At plantarflexed and inverted test positions, the CE values were smaller in negative with greater in the FAI group than in the control group. That is, in the FAI group, the FAI group underestimated the true plantarflexion angle at combined 30° plantarflexion and 20° inversion. We conclude that the ankle with FAI underestimate the amount of plantarflexion, which increases the chance of reaching greater planterflexion and inversion than patients' intention at high risk situations of spraining such as landing. Key pointsJoint position sense (JPS) of the ankle with functional ankle instability was investigated utilizing a passive reproduction test.The FAI group demonstrated greater error of the joint position than the control group only when the ankle was positioned at combined inversion and plantarflexion.The FAI group underestimated plantarflexion angle when the ankle was placed at combined inversion and plantarflexion.

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