Context: Chronic ankle instability (CAI) commonly develops after lateral ankle sprain. Movement pattern differences at proximal joints may play a role in instability.
Objective: To determine whether people with mechanical ankle instability (MAI) or functional ankle instability (FAI) exhibited different hip kinematics and kinetics during a stop-jump task compared with "copers."
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Sports medicine research laboratory.
Patients or other participants: Sixty-three recreational athletes, 21 (11 men, 10 women) per group, matched for sex, age, height, mass, and limb dominance. All participants reported a history of a moderate to severe ankle sprain. The participants with MAI and FAI reported 2 or more episodes of giving way at the ankle in the last year and decreased functional ability; copers did not. The MAI group demonstrated clinically positive anterior drawer and talar tilt tests, whereas the FAI group and copers did not.
Intervention(s): Participants performed a maximum-speed approach run and a 2-legged stop jump followed by a maximum vertical jump.
Main outcome measure(s): An electromagnetic tracking device synchronized with a force plate collected data during the stance phase of a 2-legged stop jump. Hip motion was measured from initial contact to takeoff into the vertical jump. Group differences in hip kinematics and kinetics were assessed.
Results: The MAI group demonstrated greater hip flexion at initial contact and at maximum (P = .029 and P = .017, respectively) and greater hip external rotation at maximum (P = .035) than the coper group. The MAI group also demonstrated greater hip flexion displacement than both the FAI (P = .050) and coper groups (P = .006). No differences were noted between the FAI and coper groups in hip kinematic variables or among any of the groups in ground reaction force variables.
Conclusions: The MAI group demonstrated different hip kinematics than the FAI and coper groups. Proximal joint motion may be affected by ankle joint function and laxity, and clinicians may need to assess proximal joints after repeated ankle sprains.