The role of fibular tape in the prevention of ankle injury in basketball: A pilot study

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2006 Sep;36(9):661-8. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2006.2259.


Study design: Prospective nonrandomized controlled trial.

Objectives: To determine the effect of fibular repositioning tape (FRT) on incidence and severity of ankle injury.

Background: Pain and functional disability is common following ankle sprain and a major problem in sport. A novel method of taping, FRT, which has been described to prevent ankle sprain, requires less tape than traditional methods and is easier to apply. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of FRT on the incidence and severity of ankle injury in basketball.

Methods and measures: One hundred twenty-five male basketball players were assigned at time of play to either the control (209 exposures) or FRT (224 exposures) condition in a manner of convenience. Control participants had the choice on the use and type of prophylaxis, excluding FRT. FRT participants were taped using the method described by Mulligan. Ankle injury data were collected after each exposure. Injury severity was determined by functional limitation, pain levels, and days to return to play.

Results: Four hundred forty-three measured basketball exposures resulted in 11 ankle injuries. All injuries occurred in subjects with a history of previous ankle sprain. Significantly less ankle injuries were sustained by members of the FRT condition (n = 2), compared to members of the control condition (n = 9) (Fisher exact test, P = .03). The odds ratio of sustaining an ankle injury was 0.20 (P = .04; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.04, 0.93) when taped with FRT and the number needed to treat was 22 (95% CI, 12-312).

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary data regarding the prophylactic effects of FRT on ankle injury in male basketball players.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / classification
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Arthralgia / classification
  • Arthralgia / prevention & control
  • Bandages*
  • Basketball / injuries*
  • Fibula*
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Recurrence
  • Sprains and Strains / classification
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control*