The effect of silicone ankle sleeves and lace-up ankle braces on neuromuscular control, joint torque, and cutting agility

J Orthop. 2020 Jul 6:20:359-366. doi: 10.1016/j.jor.2020.05.019. eCollection 2020 Jul-Aug.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of silicone ankle sleeves (SASs) and lace-up ankle braces (LABs) on neuromuscular control, net joint torques, and cutting agility in healthy, active individuals.

Design: Markerless motion-capture technology tracked subjects fitted with SASs, LABs, or no brace while they performed the movements: Y-excursion, left cutting, right cutting, single-leg drop vertical jump (SLDVJ), 45-degree bound, and single-leg squat (SLS).

Setting: University Laboratory.

Participants: Ten healthy, active individuals (5 males and 5 females, mean ± SD 23.60 ± 1.43 years of age).

Main outcome measures: Degrees of joint range of motion (ROM), Newton-meters of joint torque, time to perform a cutting maneuver.

Results: SASs and LABs resulted in significantly different knee and ankle ROM and hip internal rotation in the SLDVJ, SLS, Y-excursion, cutting maneuver, and 45-degree bound when compared to control (p < .05). Both ankle and knee torque were significantly reduced in the 45-degree bound and cutting movements with both types of PABs (p < .05). There were minimal differences between the SASs and LABs for all conditions. There were no statistically significant differences in cutting times for any of the 3 conditions.

Conclusion: Both SAS and LAB positively impacted neuromuscular control, reduced net joint torque, and neither impaired cutting agility when compared to control.

Keywords: Cutting agility; Lace-up ankle braces; Neuromuscular control; Silicone ankle sleeves.