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. 2002 Dec;37(4):436-445.

Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Effects of Ankle Taping and Bracing

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Free PMC article

Biomechanical and Neuromuscular Effects of Ankle Taping and Bracing

Gary B Wilkerson. J Athl Train. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: An extensive review of clinically relevant research is provided to assist clinicians in understanding the underlying mechanisms by which various ankle-support systems may provide beneficial effects. Strategies for management of different types of ankle ligament conditions are also discussed. BACKGROUND: Much of the literature pertaining to ankle instability and external support has focused on assessment of inward displacement of the hindfoot within the frontal plane. Some researchers have emphasized the importance of (1) pathologic rotary displacement of the talus within the transverse plane, (2) the frequent presence of subtalar joint ligament lesions, and (3) the interrelated effects of ankle support on deceleration of inversion velocity and facilitation of neuromuscular response. DESCRIPTION: The traditional method for application of adhesive tape to the ankle primarily restricts inward displacement of the hindfoot within the frontal plane. The biomechanical rationale for a method of ankle taping that restricts lower leg rotation and triplanar displacement of the foot associated with subtalar motion is presented. CLINICAL ADVANTAGES: The lateral subtalar-sling taping procedure may limit strain on the anterior talofibular ligament associated with subtalar inversion, restrain anterolateral rotary subluxation of the talus in the presence of ligament laxity, and protect the subtalar ligaments from excessive loading. The medial subtalar sling may reduce strain on the anterior-inferior tibiofibular syndesmosis and enhance hindfoot-to-forefoot force transfer during the push-off phase of the gait cycle.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Approximate orientation of functional axis of the subtalar joint in the sagittal plane for most individuals.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Development of tension within the anterior talofibular ligament as the leg externally rotates in relation to the foot, which resists rotary subluxation of the talus.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Vector created by tension within stirrup strips perpendicular to anteroposterior axis of isolated frontal-plane inversion.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Lateral subtalar sling. A, Orientation of lateral subtalar sling applied over stirrup strips on the hindfoot. B, Optional second lateral subtalar sling wraps around the lateral aspect of the foot at a more distal position.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Vertical and anteroposterior components of the vector created by tension within the lateral subtalar sling.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Restraint of anterolateral rotary subluxation of talus provided by the lateral subtalar sling as tape tension develops with external rotation of the leg.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Comparison of moment arms resisting subtalar inversion associated with a more posterior lateral sling position (A-A′) versus a more anterior position (B-B′).
Figure 8
Figure 8
Medial subtalar sling applied over stirrup strips on hindfoot.

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