The role of external nonrigid ankle bracing in limiting ankle inversion

Clin J Sport Med. 1995;5(1):18-24. doi: 10.1097/00042752-199501000-00004.


The purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of the nonrigid subtalar stabilizer (STS) ankle brace under conditions similar to an unexpected fall that could lead to a lateral ligament injury. The calcaneal inversion angles, times, and ground reaction forces were measured when the subject's right foot, bearing body weight, was suddenly inverted to a side slope of 22 degrees. Thirty subjects, 15 women and 15 men, participated in the study. The overall inversion drop was divided into two phases, free fall and loading. Based on the data of this study it is suggested that the major function of a brace is to restrict the amount of foot inversion during the fall before actual landing occurs rather than functioning as a force bypass for the lateral ligaments during loading after foot contact. The results showed that the brace significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the maximum calcaneal inversion angle from 27.4 +/- 6.1 to 18.3 +/- 6.0 degrees for the overall drop, significantly lengthened the inversion time from 0.14 +/- 0.04 to 0.18 +/- 0.04 s for the overall drop, and significantly reduced the calcaneal peak inversion velocity from 324.6 +/- 111.9 to 165.2 +/- 66.5 degrees/s during loading, and from 278.7 +/- 120.0 to 183.0 +/- 108.7 degrees/s for the overall drop. Following exercise, which incorporated lateral movements and sprinting, the STS ankle brace continued to provide significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the calcaneal inversion angle and velocity, although some of its effectiveness was reduced.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls
  • Adult
  • Ankle Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Braces*
  • Calcaneus / physiopathology
  • Collateral Ligaments / injuries
  • Collateral Ligaments / physiopathology
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Running / injuries
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Subtalar Joint / injuries
  • Subtalar Joint / physiopathology
  • Weight-Bearing