Self-assessed disability and functional performance in individuals with and without ankle instability: a case control study

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009 Jun;39(6):458-67. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2009.2989.


Study design: Single-blind case-control study.

Objective: To compare functional performance and self-assessed disability scores among individuals with and without chronic ankle instability (CAI) and uninjured controls.

Background: After an acute lateral ankle sprain, CAI develops in 40% to 75% of all individuals. However, some individuals, copers, maintain high-level activities after an ankle sprain and do not develop CAI. Studying differences between copers and those with CAI is the first step in developing a clinical battery of tests that can accurately determine which individuals are more likely to develop CAI after an acute lateral ankle sprain.

Methods and measures: Participants were 24 active adults with unilateral CAI (mean +/- SD age, 21.7 +/- 2.8 years), 24 copers (20.8 +/- 1.5 years), and 24 uninjured controls (21.8 +/- 2.6 years). Participants completed 3 questionnaires of self-assessed disability: (1) Foot and Ankle Disability Index, (2) Foot and Ankle Disability Index-Sport, and (3) a questionnaire of ankle function. Four hop tests were also completed: (1) figure-8 hop, (2) side-to-side hop, (3) triple-crossover hop, and (4) single-leg hop for distance.

Results: Self-assessed disability was significantly different among groups (P<.001), but hop test scores (P = .259) were not. Those with CAI had greater self-assessed disability than copers and uninjured controls. Copers and uninjured controls did not differ in self-assessed disability or functional performance.

Conclusions: Self-assessed disability is significantly greater in those with CAI than copersand uninjured controls. However, functional performance, measured by hop tests, did not differ among groups.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult