Context

Researchers have shown that rehabilitation programs incorporating resistance-band and balance-board exercises are effective for improving clinical measures of function and patient-reported outcomes in individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). However, whether combining the 2 exercises increases improvement is unknown.

Objective

To determine the effectiveness of 3 rehabilitation programs on clinical measures of balance and self-reported function in adolescent patients with CAI.

Design

Randomized controlled clinical trial (registry NCT03447652, clinicaltrials.gov).

Setting

High school athletic training facilities.

Patients or Other Participants

Forty-three patients with CAI (age = 16.37 ± 1.00 years, height = 171.75 ± 12.05 cm, mass = 69.38 ± 18.36 kg) were block randomized into 4 rehabilitation groups.

Intervention(s)

Protocols were completed 3 times per week for 4 weeks. The resistance-band group performed 3 sets of 10 repetitions of ankle plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion with a resistance band. The Biomechanical Ankle Platform System group performed 5 trials of clockwise and counterclockwise rotations, changing direction every 10 seconds during each 40-second trial. The combination group completed resistance-band and Biomechanical Ankle Platform System programs during each session. The control group did not perform any exercises.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Variables were assessed before and after the intervention: time-in-balance test, foot-lift test, Star Excursion Balance Test, side-hop test, figure-8 hop test, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure, and Cumberland Ankle Instability Tool. We conducted 4 separate multivariate repeated-measures analyses of variance, followed by univariate analyses for any findings that were different.

Results

Using the time-in-balance test, foot-lift test, Star Excursion Balance Test (medial, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions), and figure-8 hop test, we detected improvement for each rehabilitation group compared with the control group (P < .05). However, no intervention group was superior.

Conclusions

All 3 rehabilitation groups demonstrated improvement compared with the control group, yet the evidence was too limited to support a superior intervention. Over a 4-week period, either of the single-task interventions or the combination intervention can be used to combat the residual deficits associated with CAI in an adolescent patient population.

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