Lace-Up Ankle Braces May Reduce Acute Ankle Injuries Regardless of Previous History

SAN DIEGO — Lace-up braces can reduce the occurrence of acute ankle
injuries in high school basketball players regardless of their previous history
of an ankle injury, according to a presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting of
the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, here.

In the prospective, randomized controlled study, Timothy A. McGuine,
PhD, ATC, and his team studied 1,460 male and female basketball players
ages 13 years to 18 years from 46 U.S. high schools for the 2009–2010
season. Teams were allocated to the intervention and control group using
stratified cluster randomization. Athletes in the intervention group wore a
lace-up ankle brace (McDavid; Woodridge, Ill.) for each practice and game
throughout the season. Athletic trainers at each school recorded ankle brace
use as well as all basketball exposures and injuries. Injury rates were
estimated per 1,000 exposures and compared between the intervention and control
group using a log-rank test. The team examined the relationship between injury
rate and ankle bracing while controlling for covariates such as previous injury
history, gender, body mass index (BMI), age and level of competition.

A total of 78 acute ankle injuries, 13 knee injuries and 14 other lower
extremity injuries were sustained in the control group compared with 26 acute
ankle injuries, 20 knee injuries and 30 other lower extremity injuries in the
braced group. The incidence of acute ankle injuries was significantly lower in
the braced group compared with the control group and was not affected by
gender, BMI, age and level of competition.

“Basketball has one of the higher rates for ankle injuries, and
this study illustrates how a simple brace can help keep an athlete on the
court,” McGuine said.


  • McGuine TA, Brooks A, Hetzel S. The effect of lace-up ankle braces
    on lower extremity injury rates in high school basketball players. Paper #25.
    Presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for
    Sports Medicine. July 7-11. San Diego.

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