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Foot Ankle Int. 2010 Jun;31(6):499-504. doi: 10.3113/FAI.2010.0499.

Effect of ankle taping on mechanical laxity in chronic ankle instability.

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The University of North Carolina Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA.



The high percentage of re-injury after an initial ankle sprain necessitates examination of preventative methods. The purpose of this project was to investigate the effect ankle tape has on mechanical laxity in subjects with CAI.


Twenty subjects with unilateral CAI (seven males and 13 females; age, 20.6 +/- 1.8 years; mass, 69.9 +/- 13.7 kg; height, 172.3 +/- 9.3 cm) and 20 healthy subjects (seven males and 13 females; age, 21.9 +/- 4.3 years; mass, 72.0 +/- 14.6 kg; height, 171.1 +/- 6.7 cm) participated in the study. Both ankles of each subject were tested under two conditions: 1) before the application of tape; and 2) immediately after 30 minutes of exercise with the ankle taped. Mechanical laxity was measured with an instrumented ankle arthrometer. Two (group) x two (time) repeated measures ANOVA analysis was used for analysis.


There were significant group by time interactions (p = 0.014) for anterior displacement with significantly increased anterior displacement in the involved ankle of the CAI group relative to the matched control limb both before and after tape application. Similarly, there were significant time main effects for posterior displacement (p = 0.004), inversion (p = 0.001) and eversion (p = 0.043) rotation. Specifically, tape application decreased posterior displacement, inversion and eversion rotation only in the CAI group. Additionally, a significant group main effect for inversion rotation (p = 0.001) was also noted. Followup testing indicated significantly greater inversion rotation for the CAI ankle compared to the matched healthy ankle before tape application.


Mechanical laxity significantly decreased in CAI subjects after tape application. Although there was still a significant difference in mechanical laxity between the involved ankle vs. the uninvolved ankle of the CAI group, as well as the matched healthy group, laxity decreased in the CAI ankle after the application of tape.


Ankle taping may be able to improve mechanical instability in those with CAI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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