What is the effectiveness of external ankle support on the prevention of an ankle injury in recreationally and elite athletes?
Participants will be of any age group, sex and ethnicity. Studies reporting on athletes with other musculoskeletal injuries other than ankle injuries or post-surgical cases will be excluded from the review. Using Swann's et al. framework, elite athletes will be defined as any male or female engaging in an activity or game involving physical effort or skill, either for competitive or financial reward. A recreational athlete will be described as a sportsman or woman who participates in sports to be physically active in a social manner.
This review will consider studies that will evaluate the effectiveness of external ankle supports, such as taping and bracing and their ability to prevent ankle injury and re- injury rates. Athletic taping is described as a temporary technique used to prevent injury. Under this definition the following types of taping are included, although not limited to adhesive elastic tape, any form of HYPERFIX or under wrap, any form of crepe bandages, any form of RIGID, SPORTS TAPE or STRAPPAL, any form of compressive tape, KINESIO taping, and DYNAMIC taping. Ankle bracing is defined as a form of external support worn around the ankle. It can include, but not limited to: Aircast, compressive, lace up or stirrup braces.
This review will consider studies that compare the intervention of external ankle support to interventions that have no ankle support or no intervention, as well as studies that may utilize modified footwear, training programs such as proprioceptive exercises, ankle strengthening exercises and ankle injury awareness programmes.
This review will consider studies that include both primary and secondary outcomes. The primary outcomes will focus on ankle injury and ankle re-injury rates. Furthermore, studies that report on secondary outcomes such as pain, range of motion, performance and function will be included.
An injury will be described as “any physical complaint, which was caused by a transfer of energy that exceeded the body’s ability to maintain its structural and/or functional integrity that was sustained by a player ".The severity of an injury will be classified as “the number of days that have elapsed from the date of injury to the date of the player’s return to full participation in team training and availability for match selection".