Static postural control deficits are commonly documented among individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). Evidence suggests individuals with CAI who seek medical attention after an ankle sprain report fewer subjective symptoms. It is unknown if seeking medical attention and receiving supervised physical rehabilitation has a similar effect on objective outcomes, such as static postural control.
To compare measures of single-limb postural control and center of pressure (COP) location between participants with CAI who did or did not self-report attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of their first lateral ankle sprain.
Retrospective cohort.
Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): Twenty-nine participants with CAI who did (n = 14) or did not (n = 15) self-report attending supervised rehabilitation.
Self-reported attendance or not of supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury.
Participants performed three 20-second trials of single-limb stance on a force plate with eyes open. Main outcome measures included the COP velocities, time-to-boundary (TTB) absolute minima, mean of TTB minima, and SD of TTB minima in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions. The spatial distribution of the COP data points under the foot was quantified within 4 equally proportional sections labeled anteromedial, anterolateral, posteromedial, and posterolateral.
Participants who reported attending supervised rehabilitation after their initial ankle sprain had a lower COP velocity in the anterior-posterior direction (P = .030), and higher TTB anterior-posterior absolute minimum (P = .033) and mean minima (P = .050) compared with those who did not attend supervised rehabilitation.
Among individuals with CAI, not attending supervised rehabilitation at the time of initial injury may lead to worse static postural control outcomes. Clinicians should continue advocating for patients recovering from an acute ankle sprain to seek medical attention and provide continued care in the form of physical rehabilitation.