Dynamic postural control but not mechanical stability differs among those with and without chronic ankle instability

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Feb;20(1):e137-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.00929.x. Epub 2009 Apr 20.


The purpose of this investigation was to compare dynamic postural control and mechanical ankle stability among patients with and without chronic ankle instability (CAI) and controls. Seventy-two subjects were divided equally into three groups: uninjured controls, people with previous ankle injury but without CAI, and people with CAI. Subjects completed a single-leg hop-stabilization task, and then had an anterior drawer test and lateral ankle radiograph performed bilaterally. The dynamic postural stability index was calculated from the ground reaction forces of the single-leg hop-stabilization task. Ankle joint stiffness (N/m) was measured with an instrumented arthrometer during the anterior drawer test, and fibula position was assessed from the radiographic image. Patients with previous ankle injuries but without CAI demonstrated higher frontal plane dynamic postural stability scores than both the uninjured control and CAI groups (P<0.01). Patients with and without CAI had significantly higher sagittal plane dynamic postural stability scores (P<0.01) and increased ankle joint stiffness (P=0.045) relative to the control group. The increased frontal plane dynamic postural control may represent a component of a coping mechanism that limits recurrent sprains and the development of CAI. Mechanical stability alterations are speculated to result from the initial ankle trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sprains and Strains / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult