Prophylactic ankle bracing

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1990 Oct;37(5):1175-85. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(16)36982-6.


Many choices are available to athletes seeking an ankle support. The time-honored tradition of ankle taping with adhesive tape does offer protection against ankle sprains during activity. Laced stabilizers offer an equal or possibly greater amount of support, are less costly and easier to apply, and can be retightened frequently during activity. The physician should become familiar with one of these two methods and choose one based on availability and feasibility in the community. The air stirrup may be indicated for patients with a history of ankle injury who are undergoing a graduated rehabilitation program. Nevertheless, the air stirrup has not been shown to provide significantly greater inversion restriction than taping or lace-on braces and is not recommended as a first-line method of support for individuals with no history of recent ankle sprain. High-top shoes are better when the ankle is taped, although low-top shoes are better when a laced stabilizer is worn. Elastic guards help reduce ankle edema but do not provide ankle stability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Bandages
  • Braces*
  • Humans
  • Sprains and Strains / prevention & control*