The purpose of the study was to determine whether peroneal reaction time is influenced by ankle's impairment in subjects with ankle injury assessed by surface electromyography. The studies were identified by electronic research by two independent reviewers at the following databases: MEDLINE (1966-2009), EMBASE (1980-2009), LILACS (1982-2009), CINAHL (1982-2009) and, SPORTDiscus (1975-2009). Studies were divided into following groups: I--subjects with injury (paired by the opposite limb); II--subjects with or without injury (paired by limbs from different subjects) and III--subjects with or without injury (other situations). Studies that used the sudden ankle inversion test were selected. As result, 25 articles were included. The comparison of the reaction time paired by the opposite limb, showed a statistically significant difference in favor of the injured ankles (standardized mean difference--SMD=0.40; IC 95% [0.01;0.79], P=0.05). The comparison paired by limbs from different subjects presented a statistically significant difference, in favor of the injured ankles (SMD=3.49; IC 95% [1.26;5.71], P=0.002). The effect size measured was 0.54 and 1.61, respectively. The greater reaction time delay showed in the subjects with ankle injury compared to that of asymptomatic subjects should be taken into consideration.
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