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Sports Biomech. 2018 Jun;17(2):261-272. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2017.1287215. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Lower extremity joint coupling variability during gait in young adults with and without chronic ankle instability.

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a Department of Kinesiology , Curry School of Education, University of Virginia , Charlottesville , VA , USA.
b Department of Athletic Training and Nutrition , Moyes College of Education, Weber State University , Ogden , UT , USA.


Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is a condition resulting from a lateral ankle sprain. Shank-rearfoot joint-coupling variability differences have been found in CAI patients; however, joint-coupling variability (VCV) of the ankle and proximal joints has not been explored. Our purpose was to analyse VCV in adults with and without CAI during gait. Four joint-coupling pairs were analysed: knee sagittal-ankle sagittal, knee sagittal-ankle frontal, hip frontal-ankle sagittal and hip frontal-ankle frontal. Twenty-seven adults participated (CAI:n = 13, Control:n = 14). Lower extremity kinematics were collected during walking (4.83 km/h) and jogging (9.66 km/h). Vector-coding was used to assess the stride-to-stride variability of four coupling pairs. During walking, CAI patients exhibited higher VCV than healthy controls for knee sagittal-ankle frontal in latter parts of stance thru mid-swing. When jogging, CAI patients demonstrated lower VCV with specific differences occurring across various intervals of gait. The increased knee sagittal-ankle frontal VCV in CAI patients during walking may indicate an adaptation to deal with the previously identified decrease in variability in transverse plane shank and frontal plane rearfoot coupling during walking; while the decreased ankle-knee and ankle-hip VCV identified in CAI patients during jogging may represent a more rigid, less adaptable sensorimotor system ambulating at a faster speed.


Variability; dynamical systems; hip; knee; vector coding

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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