The 2BFit study: is an unsupervised proprioceptive balance board training programme, given in addition to usual care, effective in preventing ankle sprain recurrences? Design of a randomized controlled trial

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2008 May 20:9:71. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-71.


Background: There is strong evidence that athletes have a twofold risk for re-injury after a previous ankle sprain, especially during the first year post-injury. These ankle sprain recurrences could result in disability and lead to chronic pain or instability in 20 to 50% of these cases. When looking at the high rate of ankle sprain recurrences and the associated chronic results, ankle sprain recurrence prevention is important.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a proprioceptive balance board training programme on ankle sprain recurrences, that was applied to individual athletes after rehabilitation and treatment by usual care.

Methods/design: This study was designed as a randomized controlled trial with a follow-up of one year. Healthy individuals between 12 and 70 years of age, who were actively participating in sports and who had sustained a lateral ankle sprain up to two months prior to inclusion, were eligible for inclusion in the study. The intervention programme was compared to usual care. The intervention programme consisted of an eight-week proprioceptive training, which started after finishing usual care and from the moment that sports participation was again possible. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and every month for 12 months. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of recurrent ankle injuries in both groups within one year after the initial sprain. Secondary outcomes were severity and etiology of re-injury and medical care. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated from a societal perspective. A process evaluation was conducted for the intervention programme.

Discussion: The 2BFit trial is the first randomized controlled trial to study the effect of a non-supervised home-based proprioceptive balance board training programme in addition to usual care, on the recurrence of ankle sprains in sports. Results of this study could possibly lead to changes in practical guidelines on the treatment of ankle sprains. Results will become available in 2009.

Trial registration: ISTRCN34177180.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle Injuries / physiopathology
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control
  • Ankle Injuries / therapy*
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Child
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Research Design
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sports Equipment*
  • Sprains and Strains / physiopathology
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control
  • Sprains and Strains / therapy*

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN34177180