Self-Assessed Disability and Functional Performance in Individuals With and Without Ankle Instability: A Case Control Study

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STUDY DESIGN:Single-blind case-control study.OBJECTIVE:To compare functional performance and self-assessed disability scores among individuals with and without chronic ankle instability (CAI) and uninjured controls.BACKGROUND:After an acute lateral ankle sprain, CAI develops in 40% to 75% of all individuals. However, some individuals, copers, maintain high-level activities after an ankle sprain and do not develop CAI. Studying differences between copers and those with CAI is the first step in developing a clinical battery of tests that can accurately determine which individuals are more likely to develop CAI after an acute lateral ankle sprain.METHODS AND MEASURES:Participants were 24 active adults with unilateral CAI (mean ± SD age, 21.7 ± 2.8 years), 24 copers (20.8 ± 1.5 years), and 24 uninjured controls (21.8 ± 2.6 years). Participants completed 3 questionnaires of self-assessed disability: (1) Foot and Ankle Disability Index, (2) Foot and Ankle Disability Index-Sport, and (3) a questionnaire of ankle function. Four hop tests were also completed: (1) figure-8 hop, (2) side-to-side hop, (3) triple-crossover hop, and (4) single-leg hop for distance.RESULTS:Self-assessed disability was significantly different among groups (P<.001), but hop test scores (P = .259) were not. Those with CAI had greater self-assessed disability than copers and uninjured controls. Copers and uninjured controls did not differ in self-assessed disability or functional performance.CONCLUSIONS:Self-assessed disability is significantly greater in those with CAI than copers and uninjured controls. However, functional performance, measured by hop tests, did not differ among groups.

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