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n International SportMed Journal - The role of proprioception in the secondary prevention of ankle sprains in athletes : review article
Objective : To determine prevalence of proprioceptive deficit after ankle sprain and efficacy of interventions to restore proprioception and prevent recurrent sprain.
Data sources : Studies were identified by searching electronic databases including MEDLINE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, PEDro, Cochrane Reviews and Science Citation Index, and by searching bibliographies.
Study selection : Twelve studies investigating deficits in joint position sense (JPS) or movement detection were retrieved. Five randomised controlled trials of interventions, including proprioceptive retraining to prevent a recurrence of ankle sprains, were retrieved. Studies were included if they recorded long-term follow-up (>6 months) for recurrence of ankle sprains.
Data extraction : All studies that investigated JPS or movement detection after ankle sprain were included. Randomised controlled trials that fitted the selection criteria were assessed for methodological quality. Outcome measures included incidence of ankle sprain and proprioception. Wherever possible, results were pooled.
Data synthesis : Because methodological flaws existed in most studies, few definitive conclusions can be drawn. There appears to be a deficit in different proprioceptive tests in the inversion direction, but proprioceptive status is unclear in other directions. There is limited evidence that a programme of exercise aimed at improving neuromuscular control about the ankle reduces ankle sprain recurrence in subjects with previous sprains. Proprioception has not been used as an outcome measure, therefore the link between proprioception and ankle sprain is tenuous.
Conclusions : Selective proprioceptive deficits may exist after ankle sprain. There is some evidence that interventions to improve proprioception and / or neuromuscular control reduce ankle sprains in those with a history of previous sprain.
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