Objective and subjective evaluation of 10 different ankle braces on performance

Eils E, Kollmeier G, Demming C Thorwesten L, Völker K, Rosenbaum D

Abstract in digital collection (conference)


Introduction Braces are commonly used to prevent recurrent injuries in individuals with chronic ankle instability. There is some controversy if using braces in sports leads to a limitation in performance. Several studies focused on that problem but often compared only few models, testing procedures and subjects. In addition, healthy instead of chronically unstable subjects were used in most studies. The aim of this study was to compare 10 different braces with multiple testing procedures in subjects with chronic ankle instability. In addition to objective parameters, subjective aspects of performance were evaluated. Material and methods 34 subjects with chronic instability of the ankle joint participated in the study (19 female, 15 male, 23.9±3.0 years, 69.9±11.9 weight, 176.7±8.5 height). In a complex performance test 10 different braces (one extra rigid, five rigid and 4 non-rigid) and the condition without braces were tested. The same shoe model was used throughout the investigation. Each subject performed the test under all conditions in randomized order to exclude the influence of fatigue. One investigator applied all braces to subject's leg as suggested by the manufacturers. The subjects performed (i) a vertical jump on a force plate, (ii) a single leg jumping on level and inclined (15° ascent) plates, (iii) a combined straight and curve sprint, (iv) sidesteps with a cutting maneuver on a force plate. All parts had to be performed with maximal effort. One trial took less than 10 seconds, three valid trials for each condition were measured for each subject and the mean was calculated. After each condition subjects filled out a questionnaire where subjective effects on performance on a nine point rating scale concerning test components (i) to (iv) should be measured. As objective parameters of performance flight time, skipping time, running and cutting time were determined. For statistical analysis a repeated measures Anova with the a-level set to 5% and the Scheffé test for post-hoc comparisons was used. Results Means of all conditions show similar values in each of the four test procedures (table 1). Model 03 (extra rigid) has significantly decreased values for vertical jump and longer times for the other tests compared to all other models. The subjective effects for the different categories show similar results so the mean subjective effect for all is shown in figure 1. Except for Model 03, all braces are roughly scaled between 6 and 8, i.e. they are rated to have a positive effect on performance. The four non-rigid braces (gray) show comparable values and there are no significant differences between them. The rigid braces (black) (except 03) also reveal similar results with no significailt differences. Discussion and conclusions The present results reveal that the investigated braces do not impair performance. Evaluation of objective parameters from multiple testing procedures did not reveal differences between rigid and non rigid braces and there are no significant differences between them. These results are in accordance with other studies [1, 2]. Model 03 shows significantly poorer results because of its rigidity. Subjective evaluation clearly distinguished between rigid and non-rigid models that were rated to have a more positive effect on performance than rigid braces. In conclusion, although there are significant subjective differences between rigid and non non-rigid braces concerning performance no significant objective differences could be found.

Details zur Publikation

Publisher: Patrick J. Prendergast, T. Clive Lee, Alun J. Carr
Book title: Proceedings of the 12th Conference of the European Society of Biomechanics: Incorporating Symposia on Biofluid Mechanics, Microdamage in Bone, Implant Biomaterials, Musculoskeletal Loading, Mechanobiology, and Walking Motion
Release year: 2000
Publishing company: Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland
ISBN: 0953880907, 9780953880904
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
Event: 2000