The influence of foot positioning on ankle sprains

J Biomech. 2000 May;33(5):513-9. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(99)00218-3.


The goal of this study was to examine the influence of changes in foot positioning at touch-down on ankle sprain occurrence. Muscle model driven computer simulations of 10 subjects performing the landing phase of a side-shuffle movement were performed. The relative subtalar joint and talocural joint angles at touchdown were varied, and each subject-specific simulation was exposed to a set of perturbed floor conditions. The touchdown subtalar joint angle was not found to have a considerable influence on sprain occurrence, while increased touchdown plantar flexion caused increased ankle sprain occurrences. Increased touchdown plantar flexion may be the mechanism which causes ankles with a history of ankle sprains to have an increased susceptibility to subsequent sprains. This finding may also reveal a mechanism by which taping of a sprained ankle or the application of an ankle brace leads to decreased ankle sprain susceptibility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Braces
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Movement
  • Recurrence
  • Sprains and Strains / physiopathology*
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control
  • Subtalar Joint / physiopathology