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Four-week ankle-rehabilitation programs in adolescent athletes with chronic ankle instability [with consumer summary]
Cain MS, Ban RJ, Chen Y-P, Geil MD, Goerger BM, Linens SW
Journal of Athletic Training 2020 Aug;55(8):801-810
clinical trial
7/10 [Eligibility criteria: Yes; Random allocation: Yes; Concealed allocation: Yes; Baseline comparability: Yes; Blind subjects: No; Blind therapists: No; Blind assessors: Yes; Adequate follow-up: Yes; Intention-to-treat analysis: No; Between-group comparisons: Yes; Point estimates and variability: Yes. Note: Eligibility criteria item does not contribute to total score] *This score has been confirmed*

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, 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 < 0.05). 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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