Intrinsic predictive factors for ankle sprain in active university students: a prospective study

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Oct;23(5):541-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01434.x. Epub 2012 Jan 20.


The ankle is the joint most affected among the sports-related injuries. The current study investigated whether certain intrinsic factors could predict ankle sprains in active students. The 125 participants were submitted to a baseline assessment in a single session were then followed-up for 52 weeks regarding the occurrence of sprain. The baseline assessment were performed in both ankles and included the questionnaire Cumberland ankle instability tool - Portuguese, the foot lift test, dorsiflexion range of motion, Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), the side recognition task, body mass index, and history of previous sprain. Two groups were used for analysis: one with those who suffered an ankle sprain and the other with those who did not suffer an ankle sprain. After Cox regression analysis, participants with history of previous sprain were twice as likely to suffer subsequent sprains [hazard ratio (HR) 2.21 and 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07-4.57] and people with better performance on the SEBT in the postero-lateral (PL) direction were less likely to suffer a sprain (HR 0.96 and 95% CI 0.92-0.99). History of previous sprain was the strongest predictive factor and a weak performance on SEBT PL was also considered a predictive factor for ankle sprains.

Keywords: ankle sprain; balance; predictive factor; range of motion.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brazil
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / complications*
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Sprains and Strains / etiology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult