Serial Testing of Postural Control after Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain

Jay Hertel, William E. Buckley, Craig R. Denegar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify subjects' changes in postural control during single-leg stance in the 4 weeks after acute lateral ankle sprain. Design and Setting: We used a 2 × 2 × 3 (side-by-plane-by-session) within-subjects design with repeated measures on all 3 factors. All tests were performed in a university laboratory. Subjects: Seventeen young adults (9 men, 8 women; age, 21.8 ± 5.9 years; mass, 74.9 ± 10.5 kg; height, 176.9 ± 7.1 cm) who had sustained unilateral acute mild or moderate lateral ankle sprains. Measurements: Measures of center-of-pressure excursion length, root mean square velocity of center-of-pressure excursions (VEL), and range of center-of-pressure excursions (RANGE) were calculated separately in the frontal and sagittal planes during 5-second trials of static single-leg stance. Results: We noted significant side-by-plane-by-session interactions for magnitude of center-of-pressure excursions in a given trial (PSL) (P = .004), VEL (P = .011), and RANGE (P = .009). Both PSL and VEL in the frontal plane were greater in the injured limbs compared with the uninjured limbs on day 1 and during week 2 but not during week 4, whereas sagittal-plane differences existed during all 3 testing sessions. Injured-limb, frontal-plane RANGE scores were greater than uninjured values at day 1 but not during weeks 2 or 4. No significant differences in sagittal-plane RANGE scores were seen. Conclusions: Postural control was significantly impaired in the injured limbs at day 1 and during week 2 after lateral ankle sprain but not during week 4. Consistent improvement in postural control measures on both injured and uninjured limbs was seen throughout the 4 weeks after ankle sprain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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