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Am J Sports Med. 1991 Mar-Apr;19(2):104-6.

Analysis of athletic performance with prophylactic ankle devices.

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Division of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84132.


We evaluated the effect of different ankle support devices on athletic performance. Thirty varsity college athletes were tested with both ankles supported by taping, Swede-O brace, Kallassy brace or left unsupported. The athletes performed four events: broad jump, vertical leap, 10 yard shuttle run, and 40 yard sprint. The events and appliances were randomized to prevent bias by fatigue. Compared to the results when no support was used, ankle taping resulted in a significant decreased performance in the vertical jump (4%), shuttle run (1.6%), and sprint (3.5%) (P less than 0.05). Use of the Swede-O brace decreased performance in the vertical jump (4.6%), broad jump (3.6%), and time of the sprint (3.2%). Results using the Kallassy brace showed a decrease in the vertical jump (3.4%) when compared to no support. The test results of the shuttle run with taping were slower than the Kallassy brace (P less than 0.05). Wearing the Swede-O brace caused the athletes' broad jump distance to decrease more than the Kallassy brace (P less than 0.05). Subjective questionnaires supported the Kallassy brace as the most comfortable support and the one that decreased performance the least. Taping of the ankles is universally accepted for ankle prophylaxis. This study has shown a decrease in performance when ankles are taped compared to ankles with no protection. Since the decreases in performance caused by ankle braces are minor, this should not be used as a criterion for selection of prophylactic support compared to taping.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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